Family Law Case Updates – November 2016



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Keyser v. Keyser, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2619 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Trial court erred denying permanent alimony based on adultery when there is no showing of a related depletion of marital assets.  Despite evidence of adultery, need and ability remain primary consideration.


Haddan v. Jenks, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2458 (Fla. 3ed DCA 2016). Appellate court was required to accept appellant’s “one-sided” statement of evidence because it was approved by trial court and appellee never objected nor submitted one of her own.  Therefore, judgment reversed.

Child Support:

Murphy v. Murphy, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2618 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Error not to allocate expense of uncovered health expense.


Baldwin v. Baldwin, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2611 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Trial court erred holding husband in contempt and immediately incarcerating him without providing sufficient notice contempt issue would be heard at that hearing.

Golson v. Golson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2607 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Trial court reversed for failing to enforce parties’ oral agreement reducing child support as each child emancipated.  Former Husband paid $27,000 in private school he was not obligated to pay.  Parents can modify a court-order arrangement for child support provided the child continues to receive a roughly equivalent amount and the best interest of the child is served.

Randall v. Griffin, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2547 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Trial court erred by granting motion for contempt but failed to include any mechanism to enforce obligation.

Grandparent Rights:

Tata v. Tata & Vargas, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2526 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court affirmed for vacating temporary order granting grandparent’s temporary custody once Father release from jail.  Lengthy discussion.


Golson v. Golson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2607 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Trial court affirmed for denying alimony modification after former wife obtained a teaching job when it was anticipated at time of final judgment she would complete her certification and get a job.


Witt-Bahls v. Bahls, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2570 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Order once again reversed and remanded for trial court to provide Mother specific conditions to be satisfied and a time frame within which to complete them to obtain unsupervised contact with son.

Voorhees v. Voorhees, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2452 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Order eliminating parent’s timesharing and not providing specific steps for reunification affirmed as Court reserved jurisdiction to modify.  Even though this conflicts with other opinions, no conflict certified.  Fact specific.


Henderson v Bullard v. Lockard, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2613 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Lack of strict compliance with service requirements set forth in 2.516 does not render judgment void.

Gear v. Gear, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2596 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2016).  Order enjoining wife from coming within 100 feet of children at their activities reversed when issue not properly noticed for hearing and wife was therefore denied due process.

Lopez v. Perez, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2458 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2016).  Order appointing attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem reversed because one person cannot serve both roles.

Voorhees v. Voorhees, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2452 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Award of child support as result of emergency motion reversed when relief not requested not pled by consent.

Chanin v. Feigenheimer, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2446 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).  Trial court affirmed for dismissing civil complaint against former husband’s employer for “conspiring with former husband to fraudulently conceal his real income” as no such civil action exists.

Stanfield v. Marquis, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2420 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Judgment reversed and remanded for new trial after judgment entered after twenty-two month delay, right before the Judge’s retirement, and was practically verbatim of the other party’s proposed judgment.

Protective Injunctions:

Peaslee v. Perrine, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2522 (FLA. 1ST DCA 2016).  Error to summarily deny legally sufficient motion to modify or dissolve without an evidentiary hearing.

Battaglia v. Thompson,  41 Fla. L. Weekly D2501 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2016).  DV injunction reversed.  Isolated incident of domestic violence that occurred years before petition filed will not usually support the issuance of an injunction in absence of additional allegations.  Mental instability, a bad temper, depressive and suicidal statements, angry messages, vague actions and conditional future threats without overt action implying imminence are legally insufficient to support entry of inunction.


13735550_10154143206960041_4022679107669176905_oEddie Stephens is a partner at Ward Damon located in West Palm Beach, FL. Mr. Stephens was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1997 and is Board Certified in Family and Marital Law.  After starting his career as an attorney for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office, Stephens has developed a successful family law practice focused on highly disputed divorces. Through hundreds of hearings and dozens of trials, Stephens has honed his practice by making straightforward arguments that bring opposing sides closer together in order to find a successful resolution.


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