Family Law Case Updates – May 2018


Sealy v. Sealy, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1119 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court erred by giving 50% of proceeds from forced sale of marital home when agreement provided husband would pay the Wife 50% of the proceeds upon refinance but did not have the same provision concerning a forced sale.

Fazio v. Fazio, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1113 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Agreement that provides parties would equally divide marital portion of FRS reversed and remanded for parole evidence when agreement did not address FRS enhancement purchased during the marriage.

Morrison v. Morrison, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1074 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Latent ambiguity exists when parties agreed wife would receive a percentage of husband’s inheritance from his parents.  Instead of receiving a lump sum inheritance, husband became beneficiary of spendthrift trust.  Remanded for parole evidence to determine parties’ intent.

Quillen v. Quillen, 43 Fla.L.Weekly 1007 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).. A latent ambiguity arises where the language employed is clear and intelligible and suggests a single meaning, but some extrinsic fat or extraneous evidence creates a necessity for interpretation between two or more possible meanings.  Case remanded for parole evidence.

Ramsier v. Kirschner, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D929 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court reversed for misinterpreting settlement agreement when agreement was ambiguous and did specify a time of payment of equalizing payment.  Remanded for Court to determine parties’ intent.


Persaud v. Persaud, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1146 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Trial court erred not tax effecting alimony and including alimony not paid as a deduction to income in calculation retroactive child support.


Molina v. Valenzuela, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1115 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Appeal on stalking injunction dismissed as moot when injunction expired during pendency of appeal.  Unlike a domestic violence injunction, there are no collateral consequences to a stalking injunction (i.e. losing ability to own firearms) that would satisfy a mootness exception.


Bajcar v. Bajcar, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1092 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2018).  Order of civil contempt that contained criminal contempt sanctions reversed when criminal rules of procedure not complied with.

Kane v. Kane, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1023 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2018).  Order holding party in contempt reversed when no motion filed.  Party has right to notice or due process is violated.

Kozel v. Kozel, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D950 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Order of contempt affirmed even when underlying order under appeal.  Regardless of orders propriety, it must be obeyed until vacated or modified or until reversed on appeal no matter how unreasonable or erroneous.

Equitable Distribution:

Bellows v. Bellows, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1048 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Depleting marital asset to pay attorneys’ fees in divorce case is insufficient, without finding of misconduct, to warrant assigning depleted account to one of the parties in the equitable distribution scheme.


Fla. Bar v. Blackburn, 43 Fla.L.Weekly S248 (Fla. 2018).  Referee’s recommendation of 18 month suspension disapproved in favor of disbarment when attorney had sex with clients incarcerated in a detention center for money and promise of discounted legal services.


Heard v. Perales, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1121 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court affirmed for imputing minimal wage to wife when no competent and substantial evidence introduced that Wife has any limitations from work.

Military Issues:

Overstreet v. Overstreet, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D937 (Fla. 1st DCA 1018)  Discusses newly enacted “Uniform Deployed Custody and Visitation Act”.


Davis v. Davis, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D1118 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court erred when it failed to find parenting determination was in best interest of children or address paternity of children.

Preudhomme v. Preudhomme, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D997 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Trial court reversed for “prospective based” timesharing that allowed 50/50 timesharing until child reached kindergarten, then gave one party majority timesharing.

Temporary Relief:

Piedra v. Piedra, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D940 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Temporary relief order not supported by competent or substantial evidence nor dispelled husband’s argument support obligation consumed 90% of his income reversed.

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