Family Law Case Updates – November 2019

Ward Damon Holiday 2019

Edited by Caryn Stevens, Esquire


Hellard v. Siegmeister, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2584 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Reconciliation or remarriage abrogates the executory provisions of a prior marital settlement agreement unless there is an explicit statement in the agreement that parties intended otherwise.  However, executed provisions of a prior settlement agreement are not affected by reconciliation or remarriage absent a re-conveyance or a new written agreement to the contrary.


Schroll v. Smith, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2734 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Award of alimony remanded for redetermination when income resulting from equitable distribution was not considered.


Greene v. Losada, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2710 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Without transcript, appellate court can only reverse when there is legal error on the face of the order/judgment.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Navarro v. Veloz, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2625 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Trial court erred denying fees when they were not plead, but other party failed to object to the entry of the evidence on the issue, therefore the matter was tried by consent.

Kalis v. Kalis, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2597 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial court erred in awarding party $3,766 in attorneys’ fees for clerical work which attorney’s secretary performed.


McFall v. Welsh, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2608 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Trial court erred allowing production of ex-spouses un-redacted tax return that showed her new spouse’s income.  Third parties have the right to privacy, and party seeking discovery did not establish relevancy.


Neighbors v. Neighbors, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2603 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court erred requiring one party to pay the portion of a non-covered health expense when expense was out-of-network, and parties’ agreement provided they would be fully responsible if they used an out-of-network provider.

Manzaro v. D’Alessandior, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2597 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Order of direct contempt reversed when one party had repeated, uncontrollable interruptions and outburst during hearing, when defendant was not afforded opportunity to show cause why he should not be held in contempt, nor given the opportunity to present evidence of excusing or mitigating circumstances.

Perez v. Borga, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2595 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Order sanctioning party to incarceration for failed in pay alimony reversed when no finding party had present ability to comply.

Equitable Distributions:

Yon v. Yon, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2678 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court erred using date of separation instead of date of filing for cut-off date for marital assets and liabilities.  Trial court erred finding money transferred from husband’s non-marital trust account to joint account was non-marital, as the transfer to joint account created a presumption of a gift.

Tsacrios v. Tsacrios, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2676 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Fact that a family would have been “better off” if husband had not attended school during marriage was not legal justification to categorize student debt he incurred during marriage as non-marital.

Johnson v. Johnson, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2649 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Trial court erred including post-divorce accrued earnings in QDRO, 20 years after divorce, when agreement already stated specific amount to be transferred.


Hegedus v. Willemin, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2712 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Two instances, one where Respondent entered parking lot at public event and did not cause disruption, and one where respondent followed petitioner in car with erratic driving and words exchanged, were legally insufficient to support entry of stalking injunction.


Suarez v. Suarez, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2745 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial court affirmed for terminating alimony when former wife had a substantial decrease in income, but remanded back to trial court to make necessary findings of fact.  Court reversed for calculating child support based on “gross-up” model when Father was not exercising 20% of overnights.

Myers v. Lane, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2600 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Failure to exercise court-ordered timesharing entitled other party to modification of child support pursuant to 61.30(11)(c).


T.D. v. K.F. , 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2719 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019).  It is reversible error for Court to restrict parent’s right to timesharing without identifying concrete steps in order/judgment parent must take to reestablish timesharing.


Vergne v. Gridewell, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2748 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Award of 100% of attorneys’ fees to one party in partition action, when both parties owned 50% of property, reversed when trial court provided no explanation why it awarded 100% to one party.


Dlin v. Dlin, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2801 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2019).  Venue is proper in single county where intact marriage was last evidenced by a continuing union of partners who intended to remain married.

Forest v. Estate of Kohl, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2790 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).  Trial court reversed for misinterpreting release in parties’ settlement agreement.

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules for Qualified and Court Appointed Parenting Coordinators, 44 Fla.L.Weekly S267 (Fla. 2019).  Changes title of 15.350 to “Confidentiality of Disciplinary Proceedings.”

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules for Qualified and Court Appointed Parenting Coordinators, 44 Fla.L.Weekly S234 (Fla. 2019).  Amended rule for court-appointed parenting coordinators.


Martinez v. Lebron, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D2765 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  Trial court affirmed for finding Florida was child’s home state despite it being contested.  No procedural irregularities when New York declined jurisdiction.  Court does not need to find substantial change of circumstance in modifying temporary parenting order.

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