Family Law Case Updates – July 2022

Appeals:

Cummings v. Cummings, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1473 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Appellate court lacks jurisdiction to review judgment that awards entitlement to fees, but not amount. Judge R. Gregg Jerald, affirmed in part and dismissed in part.

Birnbaum v. Mortman, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1395 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Appellate court cannot determine if trial court erred in temporary relief order without a transcript. Judge Scott R. Kerner, affirmed.

Goulding v. Goulding, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1393 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Order that awards an entitlement to fees, but not amount, is a non-final order not yet ripe for appeal. Judge Linda Alley, affirmed in part and dismissed in part.

Equitable Distribution:

Malek v. Malek, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1552 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Issue of ownership of corporation between husband and wife should not be arbitrated per shareholder’s agreement. Judge Jason E. Dimitris, reversed and remanded.

Travis v. Travis, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1425 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Trial court affirmed for distributing husband’s Lockheed Retirement Program although it is not listed in final judgment, because the final judgment provided that retirement benefits and pensions were being distributed and the language was broad enough to suffice. However, the three (3) QDRO’s entered during the pendency of appeal are vacated because the court lacked jurisdiction to enter the orders at that time. Judge Jessica J. Recksiedler, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Arzillo v. Arzillo, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1386 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court erred assigning retirement account that had been depleted to pay attorney’s fees without any findings of waste. Judge Heather Beato, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Income:

Arzillo v. Arzillo, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1386 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court erred imputing full time teacher’s salary without any findings that those jobs were available in local job market. Judge Heather Beato, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Injunctions:

Baruti v. Vingle, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1521 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Petitioner was paramour of Respondent’s husband. Petitioner made 2 allegations – Respondent came into her work and stared at her, and Respondent ran her off the road and collided with her vehicle. While the second incident qualifies for entry of an injunction, the first incident does not. Judge James H. Earp, reversed.

Modification:

Roberts v. Diaz, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1548 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Trial court did not err in ordering and ratifying the wife’s proposed parenting plan in response to husband’s petition for modification. Judge Christina Marie DiRaimondo, affirmed.

Parenting:

E.M. v. E.G., 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1447 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Trial court’s final judgment of modification imposing supervised visitation reversed and remanded, when judgment provides no findings as to why supervised visitation is warranted. Judge Kevin Bruning, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Hassenplug v. Hassenplug, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1391 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Judge reversed for removing child from homeschooling to prevent further discord between parents, without any findings of fact as to the best interests of the child. Judge Joshua Riba, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Hernandez v. Mendoza, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1361 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Trial court reversed, even without a transcript, for not including language that either party may consent to mental health treatment in the parenting plan. Remanded back to Judge Karen Miller.

Procedure:

Becker v. Becker, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1555 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Service was valid when process server posted service in conspicuous place and yelled ‘you are served’ when party was attempting to evade service. Judge Christina Marie DiRaimondo, affirmed.

Murphy v. Murphy, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1467 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court erred failing to dismiss a domestication request that failed to properly allege personal jurisdiction. Former husband filed a motion to dismiss with unrebutted statements that he was not subject to Florida’s jurisdiction. Judge Lance M. Day’s order denying dismissal vacated and remanded for the court to dismiss domestication petition.

In Re: Amendments to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.340 and Forms 12.930(b) and 12.930(c), 47 Fla.L.Weekly S190 (Fla. 2022). Expert interrogatories are not included in the ten (10) additional interrogatories permitted.

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Florida Family Rules of Procedure and Florida Approved Family Forms, 47 Fla.L.Weekly S188 (Fla. 2022). Supreme Court rejects proposed Rule 12.026 (Communication Technology) so remote proceedings still governed by Rule 2.530.

Tallo v. Illes, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1353 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Order compelling third-party spouse of a judgment debtor to produce financial discovery. When a judgment creditor seeks to discover the personal financial information of a non-party, he or she bears the burden of proving that the information sought is relevant. The determination of relevancy should generally be made after an evidentiary hearing, due to the strong public policy underlying the constitutional protection of private financial information. Judge Barbara Areces, Order quashed.

Support:

Tinoco v. Lugo, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1528 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Courts have disapproved child support offsets that imperil ongoing financial support for child. Even though father had significant support arrearages, the court could not make an offset that would deprive child of support for years without specifying compelling and equitable criteria to justify set off. The court should cap the amount to be deducted to ensure child’s needs are met while simultaneously amortizing the amount of child support owed. Judge Michael E. Raiden, affirmed in part, reversed in part.

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