Stephens’ Squibs – December 2017

Attorneys’ Fees:

Dennis v. Dennis, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2582 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Order denying fees without explanation remanded to include findings of need and ability to pay.

Lisa Marie Macci v. Jaeger, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2575 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Lawyer’s charging lien could not be applied to award of retroactive undifferentiated support needed for the necessities of life.

Chittim v. Chittim, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2520 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Trial court erred concluding former wife was judicially estopped from pursuing fees that were awarded to her, even though her obligation to law firm was discharged in bankruptcy.


Dufour v. Damiani, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2627 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court had authority to hold party in contempt for not paying mortgage when payment was incident to child support.

Equitable Distribution:

Ramos v. Ramos, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2493 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred classifying premarital business as marital when husband met burden that he established business before marriage and evidence indicated business depreciated during marriage.   Trial court also erred charging coins against the Husband in equitable distribution when both parties used the coins during the pendency of the proceedings and there was no waste.

Life Insurance:

Shimer v. Corey, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2467 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  In the absence of special circumstances, a spouse cannot be required to maintain life insurance for the purpose of securing an alimony obligation.


Dogoda v. Dogoda, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2549 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Reason to retire arose after MSA signed but before final judgment was sufficient to support change of circumstances for modification.


DOR o/b/o Baker v. Baker, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2623 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  DOR authorized to serve motion for contempt by mail.

In Re: Amendments to Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms, 42 Fla.L.Weekly S960 (Fla. 2017).  Adds language to order setting contempt hearing that present ability to pay is critical.

Messing v . Nieradica, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2530 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Trial court erred converting status conference into final hearing without notice and denying husband’s petition for annulment.  Procedural due process requires both notice and a real opportunity to be heard.

Martinez v., 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2479 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017).  Continuing writ of garnishment cannot be used to collect attorneys’ fees or suit money even if fees incurred in connection with support or custody.

Protective Injunctions:

Reid v. Saunders, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2666 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017).  Injunction against stalking reversed because record contained no evidence of stalking.


Golchinu v. Farzaneh, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2559 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred by ordering former husband to pay retroactive child support to date prior to wife filing motion.

Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2497 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court order requiring repayment of arrears remanded because it did not take into consideration ability / inability to pay.

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