Family Law Case Updates – November 2017


Brady v. Brady, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2412 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred by basing alimony on parties gross income.  Remanded for Trial court to determine parties’ net incomes and after that, make a finding of need and ability to pay.

Dowling v. Dowling, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2376 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Court erred failing to take into consideration $1,000 per month debt obligation in determining Wife’s needs.

Hodge v. Hodge, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2248 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Second appeal on this matter.  Award of $2,500 per month in alimony remanded because court did not impute income to Wife’s liquid assets, including retirement.


Smith v. Smith, 42  Fla.L.Weekly S773 (Fla. 2017)  Where the right to contract has been removed under 744.3215(2)(a), the ward is not required to obtain court permission prior to exercising the right to marry, but court approval is necessary before such a marriage can be given legal effect.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Cleary v. Cleary, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2361 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Attorney fee award stricken because Trial court failed to describe what legal basis supported the award.


Kane v. Sanders, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2356 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  Trial court could not enforce right of first refusal when it had not time limit for the absence as the provision is rendered ambiguous.  Further, party could not be held in contempt for denigrating other parent in presence of children when it was based on one instance and party apologized.


Del Pino v. Del Pino, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2313 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Imputing social security benefits that the wife was eligible but not received remanded to determine if  Wife would receive the same benefit regardless of when elected, and if so, imputation is appropriate.


Dixon v. Sermon, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2453 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  50 year stalking injunction between Wife and Husband’s paramour reversed when paramour’s conduct was directed at the Husband, not the Wife.


Fuller v. Sandler, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2191 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  “Stay away” order was not an injunction and therefore it was a non-final non-appealable order.  Ruling made without prejudice for Trial court to conduct evidentiary hearing on motion to vacate order.


Shaleesh v. Shaleesh, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2379 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  Trial court did not err entering temporary order changing custody and allowing relocation pending post judgment modification action because Trial court has broad discretion.  Although Trial court has less discretion to modify a custody order then it enjoys in making initial custody determination, but based on facts of this case, order affirmed.


Campos v. Campos, 42 Fla.LWeekly D2257 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  12.540 motion only authorized if directed to final judgment as opposed to non-final order.

Bucsit v. Bucsit, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2211 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court authorized by 1.530(d) to amend judgment on its own initiative within 15 days.


Hoyt v. Opry-Huber, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2212 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court’s order denying Former Wife’s request to relocate children to move with her new husband affirmed.


Lancaster v. Lancaster, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2375 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court erred adopting parties agreement that neither will be responsible for child support when neither judgment nor agreement addresses needs of child.


Kessinger v. Kessinger, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2374 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Trial court does not have jurisdiction to domesticate and modify child support and custody provisions when only remaining minor child lives in Georgia, where case is pending, with Mother.

Scudder v. Scudder, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2243 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Final judgment remanded back to trial court to determine if it ever has subject matter jurisdiction.  From the record, it does not look like it.

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