Family Law Case Updates – August 2022

Appeals:

Brown v. Norwood, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1666 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022). Mathematical errors on the face of the judgment may be corrected in appeal even without a transcript. Judge Tanya Davis Wilson, reversed.

Holt v. Crowley, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1614 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022). Appeal seeking to challenge reservation of jurisdiction to award fees was premature as judicial labor on issue not finished. Appeal dismissed.

Attorney’s Fees:

Erskine v. Erskine, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1602 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court has jurisdiction to grant temporary appellate fees without authorization from appellate court. Judge John F. Simon, Jr., affirmed.

Your Support Solution, PA v. Ovalles, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1580 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Order denying charging lien because fee was contingency is reversed. Rule 4-1.5(f)(3)(a) authorizes contingency fees to collect unpaid child support and alimony. Judge David Young, reversed.

Equitable Distribution:

Martin v. Martin, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1747 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court erred distributing husband’s military disability to the wife in equitable distribution. Military disability is not a pension, and military disability payments are exempt from the definition of “disposable retired pay.” Judge Kelvin C. Wells, reversed.

McGowan v. McGowan, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1743 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Court adopted Former Husband’s proposed final judgment verbatim, and this case reveals the peril of doing that. The court misclassified non-marital assets as marital assets. The court misclassified several retirement accounts as marital when they had non-marital components to it. The court misclassified two (2) liabilities as non-marital when they were incurred during the marriage. Judge Lester Bass, reversed.

Collier v. Collier, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1599 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court affirmed for charging wife with the millions of dollars she transferred to an irrevocable trust after filing. The wife removed assets outside the marital estate for her sole non-marital benefit. Judge Shonna Young Gay, affirmed.

Injunctions:

Cadavid & Barrios-Balbin v. Saporta, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1625 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022). Section 57.105(8) now provides right to fees in injunction cases when there is clear and convincing evidence that one of the parties lied. In this case, no clear and convincing evidence of a lie, so fee award reversed. Judge Stefanie C. Moon, reversed.

Jurisdiction:

Chatani v. Blaze, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1739 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Trial court affirmed for dismissing paternity action, when Florida is not the child’s home state. Detailed discussion on temporary absence from the home state. Judge Abby Cynamon, affirmed.

Paternity:

DOR o/b/o Zelaya v. Trochez, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1639 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022). Trial court erred ordering genetic testing when paternity was not “at issue” and no showing of good cause. Judge Marcia del Rey, order quashed.

Procedure:

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530 and Florida Family Rule of Procedure 12.530, Fla.L.Weekly S204 (Fla. 2022). Clarifies that motion for rehearing is required to preserve an objection to insufficient findings in a final judgment.

Allen v. Allen, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D1652 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). Trial court properly denied motion to re-open, when motion was not based on any newly discovered evidence. Judge Maureen Horkan, affirmed.

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