Family Law Case Updates – April 2016


Nolan v. Nolan, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D955 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Trial court concluded it was not reasonable to base alimony on a 7 day work week then erred by basing alimony on a 7 day work week.


Felice v. Feliceu, Trial court erred finding broad waiver in prenuptial agreement did not apply to active appreciation on premarital assets.  Follows Hahamovitch.

Equitable Distribution:

Wilt-Bahls v. Bahls, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D989 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court affirmed for deeming appreciation of husband’s premarital stock in company he worked for passive and not subject to equitable distribution.  Business was not enterprise run by Husband’s family nor did Husband have a position of significant authority.

Thomas-Nance v. Nance, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D983 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2016).  Trial court abused discretion allowing Husband to pay Wife her $25,000 in equity at the rate of $100 per month.

Abramovic v. Abramovic, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D729 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court erred requiring Wife to make monthly equalizing payments when there was no evidence of Wife’s ability.


Schneider v. Schneider, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D880 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Former Husband cannot be held in contempt for failing to pay $200 per month in retirement benefits when the payment was in the nature of equitable distribution.

Caputo v. Caputo, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D879 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Former Husband could not be held in contempt for enrolling child in day care near his employment when day care was not addressed in parenting plan.


Vaught v. Vaught, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D980 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Respondent’s due process denied when petitioner made allegations of violence for the first time on day of hearing and court denied Respondent’s request for a continuance.

Berrien v. State of Florida, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D903 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Final order of dismissal divested court of jurisdiction to reinstate the injunction absent motion in compliance with due process rights.

Nuila v. Stolp, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D824 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  To obtain an inunction, it is not sufficient to just be a victim of dating violence in the past, there also must be reasonable cause to believe petitioner is in imminent danger of another act of dating violence.


Wilt-Bahls v. Bahls, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D989 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court’s order of supervised timesharing with no steps to achieve unsupervised timesharing reversed.  Court’s attitude that he was going to see what Mother was going to do about the Court’s concerns and the Court stating it was not coming up with a magical answer was not appropriate.

Collins v. Collins, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D825 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Judgment awarding husband sole parental over medical and education decision remanded.  Although appellate court agreed there was sufficient reason, trial court failed to make required finding that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the children.

Palmer v. Palmer, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D766 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Parties agreed not to expose child to dogs due to allergies.  Husband violated orderand asked court to reopen evidence.  Trial court was affirmed for reopening evidence ten awarding 50/50 timesharing as trial court’s are granted with broad authority.  However, trial court should not have removed doggie restriction as doctors agreed it was detriment for child to be near dogs.


DOR and Thomas v. Ceasar, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D1005 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Order allowing genetic testing quashed when paternity not an issue framed by the pleadings.

Bielling v. Bielling, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D955 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Trial court denied due process rights by entering judgment before rescheduling remainder of trial where additional witnesses would testify.

Server v. D.O.R. and Server, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D877 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Fact husband married wife in Germany and conceived first child in Germany over thirty years ago was not sufficient minimal contacts necessary to domesticate German support order over second child subsequently born in the United States.  A forum must have minimum contacts with the defendant to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s due process requirement.

Salinas v. Pascariello, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D809 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2016).  Fact attorney filed notice of appearance in order to review items in file electronically does not waive requirement to personally serve modification upon party.


Lathrop v. Lathrop, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D991 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2016).  Judgment requiring $600,000 in life insurance reversed as it failed to set forth special circumstances to support award.

Demmi v. Demmi,  41 Fla.L.Weekly (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). As a general rule, if non covered medical expenses are ordered to be separately paid, absent some logical established rationale in the final judgment to the contrary, they must be allocated in same percentage as the child support allocation.

McGlynn v. Tallman-McGlynnu, 41 Fla.L. Weekly D741 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court’s award of support affirmed.  Cumulation of all of Husband’s financial obligations left him with $2,469 per month (assuming he continues to receive his bonus) which left husband able to survive economically.

Abramovic v. Abramovic, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D729 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Error not to alternate dependence exemption without an explanation.


Eddie Stephens is a partner at Ward Damon who is Board Certified in Family and Marital Law and has developed a successful family law practice focused on highly disputed divorces. Most importantly to Stephens is litigating in a manner that minimizes the impact of divorce on children.  If you need help with marital or family matters, you may reach Eddie at


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