Stephens’ Squibs – September 2014

Alimony:

Hammad v. Hammad, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1964 (Fla 5rh DCA 2014).  Trial court’s award of durational alimony remanded for lack of findings.

Valente v. Barion, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1973 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2014).  Award of permanent alimony in 12 year marriage remanded for findings of fact.

Beal v. Beal, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1905 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Award of alimony that requires party to deplete equitable distribution to pay expense remanded for redetermination.

Appeals:

Clark v. Clark, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D2027 (Fla 5th DCA 2014).  Trial court erred by granting alimony and fees when relief not requested in pleadings. Fact issue was in pretrial stipulation, and the fact husband did not appear at final hearing to object did not constitute issue was tried by consent.

Konoski v. Shekarhar, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1824 (Fla 3rd DCA 2014).  Appellate counsel admonished for filing appendix with matters outside the record.

Colin v. Colin, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1837 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Party waives any argument regarding lack of findings unless he raises issue to trial court via rehearing. Party waived objection to child support guidelines when attorney “did not have any objections” to guidelines at trial.

Attorney’s Fees:

Eldridge v. Eldridge, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1843 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Trial court erred awarding former wife attorney’s fees.  Even though there was a disparity in parties’ assets, wife had a net worth of $3,000,000 and $130,000 in annual income and therefore, had no need.

Equitable Distribution:

Nguyen v. Huynh, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1982 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014).  Award of credits reversed when no findings of fact explaining evidentiary source of amount.  Omission renders it impossible to conduct meaningful appellate review.

Eldridge v. Eldridge, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1843 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Trial court erred reclassifying alimony payments to Wife as corporate distributions 6 years after final judgment.

Parenting:

Orizondo v. Orizondo, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1906 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Trial courts order abdicating timesharing to desire of 17 ½ year child constitutes reversible error.

Procedure:

Scheller v. Sollecito, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1803 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014).  Trial court erred vacating judgment sua sponte 9 months after judgment entered.  Rule 1.530 allows court to vacate judgment sua sponte within 15 days of judgment, or 10 if correcting subject of judgment.

Same Sex Marriage:

Shaw v. Shaw, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1813 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2014).  Same sex couple legally married in Massachusetts and relocated to Florida.  Relationship failed and parties resolved all issues in written agreement.  Parties asked court to adopt agreement and dissolve marriage.  Trial court dismissed action for lack of jurisdiction “that which does not exist under law.” 2nd DCA certifies that order on appeal requires immediate resolution by Supreme Court.

Shaw v. Shaw, 39 Fla. Law Weekly 5561 (Fla. 2014).  Supreme Court sends same sex marriage issue back to 2nd DCA and declines jurisdiction over issue.

Support:

Knudson v. Drobnak, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1987 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014).  Error to include day care not actually incurred in support arrears.

Cameron v. Cameron, 39 Fla. Law Weekly D1838 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014).  Court cannot include contribution from employer to health insurance premium to gross income without subtracting cost of insurance from gross.  Trial court also erred when it pronounced orally parties would divide cost of day care pro rata to parties’ income, then obligate one party to 100% of expense in judgment.

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