Family Law Case Updates – November 2018


Nuttle v. Nuttle, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2525 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court erred making modification of alimony retroactive to amended petition as opposed to original petition without explanation.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Rotunda v. Rotunda, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2463 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).  Temporary relief order awarding $50,000 in fees and costs reversed when order did not include any basis for how amount was determined or whether it included accountant fees or prospective legal fees.


Preudhomme v. Bailey, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2373 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Parent cannot be held in contempt for child being tardy to school when there is no such requirement in final judgment or parenting plan.

Equitable Distribution:

Vinson v. Vinson, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2481 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018). There was no evidence presented to contradict Husband’s testimony that proceeds from lawsuit with employer were “compensatory” and therefore trial court erred categorizing same as marital.  In addition, trial court erred making equalizing payment enforceable by contempt.

Horton v. Horton, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2468 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Court required to value 401(k) at time of trial when funds depleted on family expenses during pendency of action.

Blackburn v. Wissner, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2465 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).  Trial court failed to credit Wife with her debt reduction on marital residence from date of final judgment until the residence sold.


Venn v. Fowlkes, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2455 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Stalking inunction requires petitioner to prove that harassing behavior would have caused a reasonable person to experience substantial emotional distress.


Preudhomme v. Bailey, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2373 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Trial court could not modify mode of communication from “Our Family Wizard” (a paid service) to “Talking Parents” (a free service) without modification action.  It may seem minor, but “the methods and technologies” used are of such importance that the legislature directed that a parenting plan include those as a required element.

Name Change:

In Re: The Name Change of Ronald Russell Johnson, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2600 (Fla.4th DCA 2018).  Trial Court erred denying facially sufficient petition for name change without providing any explanation for denial.  Court also erred denying party right to have Court reporter transcribe proceedings. Fla.R.Jud.Admin Rule 2.535(b) provides any proceeding may be recorded upon request of party.


R.B. v. B.T., 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2506 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Trial court erred restricting Father from removing minor child from St. Petersburg, FL or Austin, TX because there was no evidence presented that would support that restriction.  While a trial court has broad discretion to restrict visitation when necessary to protect the welfare of the children, restrictions on visitation must be supported by evidence in the record showing they are necessary.

Horton v. Horton, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2468 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Since court did not discuss current best needs of child, it was unclear whether prospective change of rotating timesharing one year from final judgment was appropriate.


Holt v. Holt, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2455 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).  Rule 1.540(b) motion not appropriate method to vacate four year old order due to extrinsic fraud upon the Court.  These circumstances require independent action.

Toth v. Miller, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2429 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018). Judge who signed party’s sixty-five page proposed final judgment reversed when other factors demonstrated judgment did not reflect court’s independent decision making.

Skelly v. Skelly, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2408 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).  Trial Court erred not sustaining party’s objection to magistrate for child support modification.  Appellate court also struck court’s administrative order requiring mediation upon referral to magistrate as that requirement is not consistent with Rule 12.490.


Saponara v. Saponara,  43 Fla.L.Weekly D2592 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).  Court granted mother’s request for relocation but created a visitation schedule the Mother objected to.  Judgment affirmed and Mother’s due process rights found not to be violated.


DOR o/b/o Slayer v. Vobroucek, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2507 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Court erred determining it lacked subject matter jurisdiction in petition to extend support filed after child’s 18th birthday but while she was in high school with a reasonable expectation she would graduate by her 19th birthday.

One thought on “Family Law Case Updates – November 2018

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  1. Hey Eddie

    Do you have any extra copies of the last couple years of your Squibs that I could buy from you for one of your charities (even if that charity is the Eddie Stephens Rainy Day Slush Fund)?

    I have 2014 and 2016. Would like to have 2015 and 2017 along with your Highly Anticipated 2018!! I hear that in 2018 you are including a CENTERFOLD!!!!! Boy Howdy!!!! 😎😎🖖

    Merry Christmas Eddie

    (oh, and please consider sending me your ‘small fish’ prospective clients that cannot afford your, what I am certain are quite reasonable, hourly rates, etc. As you may know I try to fill the ‘niche’ of lower-middle income folks who deserve good representation, but simply cannot afford large retainers. Thanks! )

    John A. Kovarik, Esq.

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