Stephens’ Squibs – May 2019

Agreements:

Famiglio v. Famiglio, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1260 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019).  The Wife filed for divorce in 2013 and dismissed it.  Wife files for divorce again in 2016. Prenuptial agreement provided scheduled payments to Wife based on how long marriage was as defined when someone files for divorce.  Court erred in using 2016 date to calculate payments instead of 2013  date.  Agreement was unambiguous.

Alimony:

King v. King, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1337 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019).  Trial court affirmed for denying alimony in short term marriage when wife failed to overcome presumption against award of alimony.

Zubrickly v. Zubrickly, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1287 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Party can use F.S. 61.14 to modify agreement (without modification action) before it is ratified by final judgment.

Appeals:

Wolf v. Wolf, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1221 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019).  Court did not have jurisdiction to hear appeal on attorneys’ fees when entitlement was determined, but not amount.  Former Husband cannot challenge equalizing payment without transcript or demonstrating reversible error.

Padgett v. Padgett, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1167 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Former Husband cannot challenge lower court’s findings that he has additional income available to him in absence of transcript.

Attorney’s Fees:

Jooste v. Jooste, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1242 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial court abused discretion for denying temporary attorneys’ fees on sole basis that requesting party had spent twice as much on fees.

R.M.A. v. J.A.S., 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1107 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018).  Without transcript, appellate court cannot determine if Court erred in fashioning repayment plan.  However, Court committed legal error by failing to provide legal findings as to reasonableness; so matter remanded.

Enforcement:

Bordonaro v. Bordonaro, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1319 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court erred modifying support obligations at contempt hearing.

Farid v. Rabbath, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1307 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court erred modifying property rights during post-judgment motion to enforce hearing.

Goodwin v. Feta, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1296 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial Court erred finding Husband in contempt for bringing his girlfriend to child’s medical event when it was not barred by final judgment, and by “clarifying” girlfriend cannot attend appointments when no modification was requested.

Dowell v. Knoras, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1182 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Trial court erred by finding party in contempt for violating standard order not to relocate when party relocated prior to being served with order.

Du Perault v. Du Perault, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1135 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Error for court to include a defaulting fee provision in final judgment.

De Diego v. Barrios, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1027 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Trial court erred granting Former Wife equitable lien on Former Husband’s homestead property to enforce equalizing payment.  Did not meet standard to force sale of homestead property to enforce equalizing payment which requires egregious conduct (i.e. acquired homestead as instrument of fraud, or as a means to escape support obligation).

Equitable Distribution:

Goley v. Goley, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1283 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court erred finding parties had an equitable interest in property owned by Wife’s parents.  Error was harmless as Court gave Wife credit for unequal interest which did not affect alimony or attorneys’ fees.

Injunctions:

Taylor v. Price, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1330 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial court cannot reject petitioner’s testimony when no evidence to rebut it, and no finding made that petitioner was not credible.

Summers v. Thompson, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1272 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Respondent challenged dating injunction by claiming Petitioner had no standing because they met on Craig’s list and were casually having sex. This argument failed because under the language of the statute, a dating relationship exists when the parties have or had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.  However, Respondent successfully argued that leaving unpleasant voice messages, contacting petitioner on social media, and showing up one time at her residence unannounced was insufficient to support injunction against dating violence.

Klenk v. Ramson, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1270 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Allegations that Respondent frequently asked Petitioner sexually oriented questions, asked Petitioner to run errands after work, and looked through Petitioner’s cell phone one time was insufficient to support injunction for protection against stalking.

Stone v. McMillian, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1171 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court abused discretion by entering stalking injunction on evidence that was legally insufficient.  Facts that Respondent walked dog past Petitioner’s residence often, put his dog waste in her curb trashcan on one occasion, and stepped on Petitioner’s driveway to avoid being hit by a bus, does not constitute a course of malicious conduct that would give a person severe emotional distress.

Modification:

Johansson v. Johansson, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1133 (Fla.4th DCA 2019).  Trial court abused discretion by denying petition to modify support without findings of income or imputing income to voluntarily-underemployed party.

Dipasquale v. Dipasquale, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1078 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019). When divorce resolved by agreement, effective date of agreement establishes date trial court should look back to for determination of change of circumstances in modification action.

Procedure:

Pena v. Rodriguez, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1346 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Trial court denied husband due process by relying solely on representations of counsel in support of determination of parental responsibility, timesharing and child support.

Gil De Lamadrid v. De Jesus Rivera, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1310 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Third-party cannot intervene into divorce post-judgment.

Manko v. Manko, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1249 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Trial court erred summarily denying party’s 1.530 motion based on the fact party cannot obtain life insurance due to medical condition.

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Evidence Code, 44 Fla.L.Weekly S161 (Fla. 2019).  In family law cases, Court can take judicial notice of any court record of the US or any state when imminent danger has been alleged and it is impractical to give notice to the parties.

Relocation:

Couperthwaite v. Couperthwaite, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1211 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Order denying relocation affirmed.  No showing of abuse of discretion or misapplication of the law.

Support:

Stout v. Stout, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D1140 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  When child support is allocated between children, obligor entitled to retroactive relief to the date of the qualifying event (i.e. emancipation of that child).

Edited by Caryn Stevens.

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