Family Law Case Updates – September 2017


Kallett v. Kastriner, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1877 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017). Agreement to not express clear unambiguous right to waive alimony.


Fischer v. Fischer, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1871 (Fla. 1sr DCA 2017).  Judgment reserving jurisdiction to determine disposition of house in event former wife could not refinance was a non-final judgment not subject to appeal.

Wamskey v. Wamsley, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1867 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Trial court’s determination that 2010 modification was abandoned when another modification was filed in 2014 is a non-final order not subject to appeal.

Attorney’s Fees:

Ortiz v. Ortiz, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2025 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  Wife’s agreement in parenting plan that “each party shall be responsible for their own fees associated with the present litigation’ did not waive wife’s right to seek fees because you cannot contract away temporary fees before final judgment is entered.

Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1922 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Award of fees reversed when ability not addressed and no basis for amount of fees awarded.

Rosaler v. Rosaler, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1904 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court affirmed for awarding wife fraction of fees requested when husband had the ability when the entirety of the wife’s fees were due to her misconduct.

Viscito v. Viscito, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1829 (Fla. 3rd DCA 207).  Trial court error automatically awarding attorneys’ fees based on appellate order conditionally granting fees.  A blanket grant of fees, unless order says otherwise, is only determination lower court should address motion.

Equitable Distribution:

Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1922 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Evidence did not support court’s valuation of pension on date of filing.

Higgins v. Higgins, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1853 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred giving no value to business despite evidence is has tangible assets, and it erred distributing tax refund depleted during pendency without findings of waste, and erred finding boat from proceeds of premarital asset was a marital asset.


Gillette v. Gillette,42 Fla.L.Weekly D1947 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court affirmed for finding husband who made at the most $13,000 per year from family business was not voluntarily underemployed when parties agrees to husband’s work and it was in the child’s best interest, and the wife’s vocational expert was not accepted by the court.


Packal v. Johnson, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1863 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Stalking inunction reversed when based on one act of harassment.


Mackoul v. Mackoul, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1873 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017)  Because court found security was necessary to prevent wife from dire straits should the husband die was interpreted to establish a lien to secure future payments after husband’s death.


Patel v. Patel, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2009 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).. Trial court affirmed for denying modification even though all prongs of substantial change test met because modification would not have been in child’s best interest.


Wade v. Wade, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2035 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court erred when it pronounced husband would have to secure alimony with life insurance but failed to include it in final judgment.

Adkins v. Sotolongo, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2030 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  Trial Court erred requiring party to pay guardian ad litem expert fee in advance of deposition as it deprived party due process of law.

Pulkkinen v. Pulkkinen, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1938 (Fla, 1st DCA 2017). Trial court erred denying husband’s motion for credit of child support because it violated Florida’s public policy. Foreign decree provided husband is entitled to credit on interest for prepaid child support.  Trial court cannot refuse to enforce judgment from sister state that was lawfully entered.  A state may not elevate the public policy over the policy in another state’s judgment.


Alston v. Vazquez, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2021 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Error not to condition claiming of tax dependency on being current with child support obligation.

Temporary Relief:

Buchanan v. Buchanan, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2001 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Temporary relief order reversed when it ordered husband to pay support and all expenses without specifying expenses or addressing husband’s ability. Court also lacked authority to order husband’s business, a non-party, to continue to pay wife stipend.

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