Family Law Case Updates – October 2022

Attorney Fees:

Cletcher v. Cletcher, 348 So.3d 1223 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2022).  Error to award fees to party in superior financial condition when no findings of bad faith in record.  Judge Joshua Riba affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Equitable Distribution:

Iarussi v. Iarussi, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D2079 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022).  Trial court erred awarding prejudgment interest to date of filing for equitable distribution payment.  Assessment of prejudgment interest generally involves the occurrence of a wrong, such as breach of contract or a tort, which causes a loss at a time certain in the past.  Judge Dawn Caloca-Johnson affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Income:

Iarussi v. Iarussi, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D2079 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022).  Trial court erred failing to impute any investment income to Wife.  The law requires a court, when calculating alimony, to consider all sources of income available to either party through investment of assets of that party.  Judge Dawn Caloca-Johnson affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Injunctions:

Cardon v. Halmaghi, 348 So.3d 1241  (Fla. 1st DCA 2022).  Trial court erred extending a repeat violence injunction when petitioner failed to demonstrate another act of violence or reasonably objective fear act is likely to happen in the future.  Whether evidence is legally sufficient to support extension of injunction to support injunction is a legal question subject to de nova review.  Judge Ross M. Goodman, reversed.

Montes-Bolden v. Beauvais, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D2122 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2022).  A court may not enter injunctive relief sua sponte in the absence of required pleadings and notice.  Judge Milton Hirsch affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Brown v. Armstrong, 348 So.3d 670 (Fla. 5th DCA 2022).  It was error to deny motion to dissolve injunction based on a change of circumstances without a hearing.  Judge Christopher A. France, reversed.

Procedure:

Iarussi v. Iarussi, 47 Fla.L.Weekly D2079 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022).  Trial court did not err adopting parties’ proposed final judgment signed 12 months after trial, because judgment contained thoughtful and independent analysis of the facts. Judge Dawn Caloca-Johnson affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Gjokhila v. Seymour, 349 So.3d 946 (Fla 1st DCA 2022).  Party could not seek to set aside a consent judgment without a showing of fraud.  Judge Maureen Horkon, affirmed.


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.

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