Family Law Case Updates – February 2023


Goldberg v. Goldberg, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D347 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023).  Where it is not apparent Court used net incomes to determine alimony, the appellate court will reverse and remand for trial court to make appropriate findings.  Judge James L. Martz affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Kritzman v. Kritzman, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D227 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  Trial court erred imposing equitable lien to protect alimony without setting forth specific findings of special circumstances.  Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens affirmed in part, reversed in part.


Hernandez v. Vidas, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D187 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  Without a record of the trial court proceedings, the appellate court cannot properly resolve underlying factual issues so as to conclude the trial court’s judgment is not supported by the evidence or alternate theory.   Judge Ivonne Cuesta affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Attorney’s Fees:

Wells v. Wells, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D327 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2023). Trial court erred awarding accountant fees based on affidavit of accountant.   Affidavit was hearsay, accountant needed to testify.  Judge Lisa D. Campbell reversed.


Varner v. Varner, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D387 (Fla. 5th DCA 2023).  Trial court erred finding mother in contempt for not delivering child to father in Columbia county, when that was not in parenting plan or order.  Court also erred finding mother in contempt for failing to return children to father when there was a criminal ‘no contact order’ against the father that did not address visitation.   Judge Suzanne Bass reversed.

Cruz v. Matos, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D302 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023).  When wife only requested payment of alimony since October 2020, Court erred awarding enforcement on alimony that accrued prior to October 2020.  Judge Michael C. Heisey reversed.


Quinn v. Calkins, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D346 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023).  Trial court erred extending injunction when petitioner presented no evidence, and her fear was not objectively reasonable.  Judge Cynthia L. Cox reversed.

Coons v. Henderson, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D315 (Fla. 1st DCA 2023).  Stalking injunction reversed when respondent had a legitimate use to install cameras pointed at neighbors’ property.  Judge John T. Brown reversed.

Life Insurance:

Aronoff v. Aronoff, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D352 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023).  Trial court erred requiring husband to maintain $7 million of life insurance and name wife beneficiary of 50% until child emancipates, when no findings of availability or cost to the husband.  Judge Frank Ledee affirmed in part, reversed in part.


Stivelman v. Stivelman, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D295 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  A trial court must make requisite statutory findings under Fla. Stat. 61.08(2), whether initial alimony award or modification.  Judge Ivonne Cuesta reversed.


Edmonds v. Edmonds, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D398 (Fla. 6th DCA 2023).  Where a party files exceptions to the magistrate’s report, it is reversible error for a trial court to fail to conduct a hearing on the exceptions before entering an order on the report.   Judge James D. Sloan affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Walker v. Wallace, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D298 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  A person found in contempt cannot challenge the contempt order on the ground the underlying order is legally erroneous.  Judge Cheryl A. Caracuzzo affirmed.

Padron v. Padron, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D283 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  Trial court exceeded jurisdiction by sua sponte vacating portion of final judgment 60 days after entry.  After entry of final judgment and expiration of time to file for rehearing or for a new trial, the court loses jurisdiction unless jurisdiction reserved for that issue, or the issue is allowed to be considered post judgment. “Writ of prohibition” is the appropriate remedy to prevent Court from proceeding over a case which it no longer has jurisdiction. 

Lyons v. Steiner, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D217 (Fla. 5th DCA 2023).  Trial court erred by barring pro se litigant from further filingsm in post-judgment paternity issue without providing him notice and opportunity to be heard.  Judge Christopher A. France’s order quashed.


A.G.W. v. C.L.C and DOR, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D388 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2023).  Good fortune support case.  Trial court erred when finding support should be modified based on father’s increase in income from 2.7 million to 9.7 million per year, then reducing support to child’s base need.  Where father’s good fortune is clear and undisputed, the court should take this into account when determining support.  When one parent has good fortune, child support should exceed child’s base needs.  Judge Christopher M. Labruzzo reversed.

McGill v. McGill, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D321 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2023).  Even without transcript, trial court erred in setting retroactive support without finding of income in order.  Error is apparent on face of order.   Judge Kevin A. Bruning reversed.


Coe v. Rautenburg, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D353 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023).  Trial court erred by failing to address holiday timesharing and retroactive support.  Trial court also made mathematical error in addressing equitable distribution.   Judge Scott P. Kerner affirmed in part, reversed in part.

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