Family Law Case Updates – April 2019


Browner v. Browner, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1020 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Appellate Court did not have jurisdiction to review non-final order that reserved jurisdiction over child support and equitable distribution, which then rendered that order as non-final, even if some issues are resolved in order.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Dood v. Dood, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D969 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). Order on fees reversed, even without transcript, when order failed to make required findings of fact.

Scire v. Hochman, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D950 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019). Court must make findings that the numbers of hours incurred are reasonable. If invoices submitted as evidence do not contain this summary, and if otherwise not articulated, court has no basis for awarding fees.

Equitable Distribution:

Bowen v. Bowen, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D957 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Trial Court erred dividing parties’ closed business 50/50, despite dearth of evidence of businesses value.

Dorsey v. Dorsey, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D875 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Equitable distribution scheme affirmed. Parties cannot seek piecemeal review of court’s equitable distribution scheme without asserting over all distribution was not equal.


Hossey v. Lara Obo JH, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D940 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019). Injunction against sexual violence of 9-year-old child reversed for insufficient evidence because mother was pro se and failed to introduce substantial evidence. Court makes plea for more resources to help petitioners stating “the issues could hardly be more significant, the allegations, proceedings, and results substantially affect the long-term physical and emotional health of the parties and their families.”


Paulette v. Rosella, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D887 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019). Trial Court erred denying modification. MSA provided no support obligation on mother because she was unemployed. Court denied modification based on erroneous determination that mom getting job was “contemplated.”  An increase in one’s ability to pay in and of itself is sufficient to warrant an increase in child support.

Name Change:

Bowman v. Hutton, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D822 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Trial Court abused discretion changing 2-year-old child’s name as part of paternity judgment. Father testified child should have hyphenated name to identify with both parents. Mom agreed it would stigmatize child for being born out of wedlock. Law requires a name only where the record affirmatively shows it is required for the welfare of the child.


McLendon v. Amico, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D894 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Trial Court affirmed for modifying judgment and removing requirement father have supervised visitation based on court’s findings. Father was sober for three years and alcoholism was in remission despite evidence to the contrary.

Andre v. Andre, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D810 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019). Impermissible for court to modify timesharing as sanction for contempt when there was no modification pending alleging it was in the child’s best interest.


Levy v. Levy, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D983 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019). Husband lacking capacity is not a defense when spouse seeks alimony unconnected with dissolution.

Pelphrey-Wergand v. Wergand, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D973 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). Error for court to grant fees, when fees for some issue previously denied under different theory due to res judicata.

Moore v. Moore, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D969 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). IWO must delegate what portion of support payment is for arrears.

Johnson v. Johnson, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D890 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019). Trial Court erred disregarding parties’ stipulation on number of overnights husband would receive timesharing with minor child.

Corrigan v. Vargas, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D889 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019). Party cannot seek relief from order/judgment for fraud if they have unclean hands, i.e. participate in fraud.

Bowe-Lewis v. Lewis, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D844 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019). Trial Court erred denying 12.540 motion that alleged a colorable entitlement to relief without an evidentiary hearing.

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