Family Law Case Updates – June 2022

Alimony:

Adams v. Adams, 340 So.3d 551 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Normally, undistributed pass-through income is not included for purposes of determining alimony. If disputed, the party who receives pass-through income has the burden to demonstrate income was properly retained for corporate purposes, and not just impermissibly retained to avoid alimony. Judge Dana Y. Moore, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Olguin v. Olguin, 339 So.3d 1061 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court failed to make adequate findings as to wife’s needs for alimony, which prevented meaningful appellate review. Judge Lisa S. Porter, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Appeals:

Frownfelter v. Frownfelter, 338 So.3d 946 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Judgment that awards entitlement but not amount of attorney’s fees is not ripe for review. Judge Karen M. Miller, affirmed, appeal of fees dismissed.

Attorney’s Fees:

Adams v. Adams, 40 So.3d 551 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Order awarding fees without any findings of ability or need shall be reversed. Judge Dana Y. Moore, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Hasson v. Hasson, 339 So.3d 1006 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Trial court’s award of temporary fees reversed when wife presented no evidence of need, and there was no substantial competent evidence to support husband’s ability. Reversible error occurs when the court orders a party to pay fees without any evidence tha party has the ability to pay in the time frame ordered. Judge Susan F. Greenhawt, reversed.

Nizahon v. Nizahon, 339 So.3d 1002 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Order that requires a party to pay attorney’s fees in eight (8) installments, without any factual basis, remanded for prior findings. Judge Michael Rothschild, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Enforcement:

Antunes v. De Oliveira, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1220 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Provision that if a party did not provide seven (7) days notice of international travel they would pay a $10,000.00 sanction is enforceable, but provision that provides no more international travel is not enforceable as it was not in minor child’s best interest. Judge Maria Elena Verde, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Injunctions:

Werner v. Werner, 339 So.3d 1100 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Domestic violence injunction reversed when evidence was insufficient to establish reasonable fear of imminent violence. Judge Lisa S. Porter, reversed.

Lentino v. McKinney, 339 So.3d 494 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Dating violence injunction reversed. Entry was based on two instances. First instance was not included in the petition. Second instance was a phone call that was insufficient to establish imminent danger of another act of dating violence. Judge Steven C. Henderson, reversed.

Modification:

Rodolph v. Rodolph, 344 So.3d 451 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Replaces Opinion at 47 Fla.L.Weekly D9222 – Trial court erred treating former husband’s discretionary withdrawals from his retirement account as income for purposes of determining ability to pay. Post-judgment enforcement orders entered during pendency also reversed. Judges Lester Langer & Nickolaus Hunter Davis, reversed.

Mahle v. Mahle, 341 So.3d 344 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Trial court affirmed for declining to impute social security benefits husband was eligible for, but has not elected to receive yet. Judge Jessica Ticktin, affirmed.

Parenting:

Oddo v. Oddo, 340 So.3d 541 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Trial court erred modifying timesharing when the matter was not noticed, and for ordering a psychological evaluation when mental state is not at issue. Judge Susan Stacy, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Procedure:

Webking v. Webking, 340 So.3d 571 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court erred entering an order when a stay was granted by the appellate court, and already in place. Writ of Prohibition to quash challenged order, granted.

Brooks v. Brooks, 340 So.3d 543 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Court affirmed for dismissing 12.540 motion filed within 1-year of judgment, but was not brought to a hearing for 16 years. Judge David Young, affirmed.

In Re: Amendments to the Florida Family law of Procedure 12.351, 346 So.3d 1099 (Fla. 2022). Changes time from providing notice of intent to serve subpoena for production of things/documents (i.e. notice of production from non-party)
without deposition from 15 days to 10 days. Any objection still must be filed within the 10 days.

Olguin v. Olguin, 339 So.3d 1061 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court erred granting ore tenus motion for summary judgment before close of petitioner’s case. Motion for summary judgment is a pre-trial motion. Party could seek motion for involuntary dismissal (akin to directed verdict) but not until the end of petitioner’s case. Judge Lisa S. Porter, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Support:

McDaniel v. McDaniel, 340So.3d 561 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court erred using wrong amount for husband’s income and including reimbursements that did not reduce his cost of living. Judge Wesley D. Tibbals, affirmed in part, reversed in part.


Eddie Stephens (Author), a sixth generation Floridian, is a partner in Stephens & Stevens, PLLC. Eddie is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney who specializes in high-conflict matrimonial law. He has earned the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by MartindaleHubbell, a professional rating indicating the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

 
With 25 years of litigation experience, Eddie specializes in high-conflict, high-asset divorce cases. Eddie focuses on helping clients with domestic legal issues such as property division, business valuation, child support and spousal support, child custody and visitation, post-judgment modifications, child relocation, same sex marriages, and both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.


As a divorced father of two children, Eddie knows first hand what’s at stake when counseling his clients. Eddie currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Child Counseling, Inc. and Board of Governors of Leadership Palm Beach County.

Eddie is a past recipient of the Family Law Section Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award (2017), the Leadership Palm Beach County Leadership Excellence Award (2018) and most recently, the Families First of Palm Beach 2019 Harriet Goldstein Awardee (2019).

In addition to practicing family law, Eddie is an author, lecturer, and community leader who supports a number of local civic and charitable organizations. His hobbies include Jiu Jitsu, cooking, yoga, and spending time with his family. Eddie is happily married to Jacquie and has two children, Christopher and Matthew, and they all call Palm Beach, Florida home.

Caryn A. Stevens (Editor) is a Partner at the law firm of Stephens & Stevens, PLLC in West Palm Beach, where she focuses her practice exclusively in the areas of marital and family law. Prior to practicing law, Caryn spent over 12 years working in the mental health and counseling fields, as a mental health counselor in private practice, as a counselor for the Department of Children & Families, and later as an Elementary School Guidance Counselor. Caryn is a graduate of Florida State University, where she earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology, and her Masters and Specialist Degrees in Counseling & Human Services. Caryn received her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, and received pro bono honors for her volunteer legal work.

In her prior work as a mental health counselor, Caryn had the unique opportunity to assist thousands of children, families and couples through difficult life circumstances, which allows her to bring a unique and compassionate perspective to the clients she represents. Caryn is a passionate advocate for her clients, and a skilled litigator in the courtroom.

In 2021, Caryn was honored with the prestigious Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award from the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, recognizing her outstanding pro bono services and significant volunteer community activities that improve the lives of Florida’s children and families. Caryn is currently the President of the Susan Greenberg Family Law Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches, is a graduate of the Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2019, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Herizon (formerly The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches). Caryn has also served as mentor with the Women of Tomorrow Program for the past four years, mentoring at-risk high school women to live up to their full potential.

Caryn is a native South Floridian, and currently lives in Palm Beach County with her Husband, David, and their adorable Mini Aussie, Emma. She is a passionate fan of the Florida State Seminoles, and in her spare time loves going to the theater and traveling the world.

Gina Szapucki (Associate Editor) concentrates her practice exclusively in the areas of marital family law. Gina quickly realized she had a passion for helping families while clerking for a family law firm. Her passionate drive to assist and guide families, both efficiently and effectively, during challenging times continues to grow. Gina represents clients from all walks of life while zealously advocating for individual’s rights under Florida law.

Gina is originally from New Jersey but has called Florida home for the last 15 years. She is a proud Chi Omega Alumni and in her spare time enjoys traveling, cycling, exploring new restaurants and cuisines, and spending time with family.

One thought on “Family Law Case Updates – June 2022

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  1. Thank You Eddie. Is your dog part basset hound? Precious. Eddie I know that my case was supposed to be 2 days that lasted about 3 hours. Are you suggesting I have a case? I truly have never been so disgusted with how corrupt our justice system is. All parties involved forgot that we are all God’s children. That being said I am sure justice will eventually happen. God does not lie! Remember I have no money. Thank you for thinking of me. Joan

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