Family Law Case Updates – July 2017


Whissell v. Whissell, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1533 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial Court erred terming certain payments as alimony when parties prenuptial agreement waived alimony.


Hua v. Tsung, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred not applying rebuttable presumption in favor of permanent alimony in 17 ½ year marriage.   In almost every case involving one spouse who has historically been the homemaker in a long-term marriage and a subsequent disparity in income.

Threadgill v. Nishimura, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1455 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).. Trial court erred calculating husband’s business income using his gross receipts without subtracting his ordinary and necessary business expenses.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Chittim v. Chittim, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1477 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Former wife not judicially estopped from seeking divorce fees where she was previously awarded entitlement to, but failed to disclose it as a contingent asset in her bankruptcy.

Spector v. Spector, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1553 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Former Wife had no standing to seek fees against husband’s new spouse.

Equitable Distribution:

Callwood v. Callwood, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1499 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred awarding upside down property to spouse without findings of fact or explanation of how it fits into equitably distribution scheme.

Hua v. Tsung, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred when it directed parties to repay Husband’s father from proceeds from sale of residence.  Trial court does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate property rights of non-parties.

Raphael v. Raphael, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1459 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).. Trial court erred failing to address husband’s alleged unsupported loans from his family. Remanded to trial court to make findings of fact as to why it should not be a marital liability.


Newsom v. Newsom, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1511 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court erred entering injunction when respondent was tardy to the hearing and no evidence was taken.


Fischer v. Fischer, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1626 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Order modifying alimony reversed when change of circumstances was neither unanticipated or involuntary.


Whissell v. Whissell, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1533 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Whenever court restricts or denies timesharing, the order must articulate relatively specific tasks must take to resume unsupervised timesharing.

Sickels v. Sickels, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1479 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Siblings cannot be separated without findings of fact justifying most compelling cause.


Isnord v. Isnord, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1599 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)  Trial court erred dismissing action for failure to effectuate service when service was effectuated by publication.


Van Der Muelen v. Van Dem Muelen, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1591 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Trial court erred failing to allocate unpaid medical on a percentage basis.

Kirtley v. DOR & Kirtley, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1509 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  A trial court abuses discretion when it fails to award retroactive support where there is a need and ability.

Callwood v. Callwood, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1499 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial Court erred imputing husband’s unexplained monthly deficit as additional income.



Eddie_Stephens.jpgEddie is an equity partner in Ward Damon, PL, where he leads the family law department and manages community relations for the firm. Eddie is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney who specializes in high-conflict matrimonial law. He has earned the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a professional rating indicating the highest ethical standards and professional ability, and has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America®, a peer-review publication recognizing the top 4% of attorneys in the country.

In addition to practicing family law, Eddie is an author, lecturer, and community leader who supports a number of local civic and charitable organizations including Center for Child Counseling, Leadership Palm Beach County, Boy Scouts of America, Delta Sigma Pi, Big Dog Ranch Rescue and Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. His hobbies include cooking, yoga, camping and spending time with his family. Eddie is happily married to Jacquie and has two children, Christopher and Matthew, and they all call Palm Beach, Florida home.

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