Center for Child Counseling Elects Eddie Stephens as New Board Member

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (June 6, 2017) – The Center for Child Counseling is pleased to announce the election of Eddie Stephens, Equity Partner at Ward Damon, to the Center for Child Counseling’s Board of Directors. Mr. Stephens is a board-certified attorney in Family and Marital Law and a trained Collaborative Law attorney.  He earned … Continue reading

Opponent Gets Hit with $47K in Rosen Fees for taking Unreasonable Position in Same Sex Divorce

I just finished my first same sex divorce that actually went the distance and went to final trial. The only thing unusual about the case were the issues one of the spouses was making. The parties were married 4 years but in a relationship for 20.  The opponent spouse sought an equitable distribution of all … Continue reading

Eddie Stephens opposes American Academy of Matrimonial Law’s Position on Hooker

by Tricia Erickson Originally Published in the Florida Record. TALLAHASSEE — A property dispute in a marriage dissolution case raised questions about “donative intent” and interspousal gifts. The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that upholds the trial court’s interpretation and reverses an appeals court’s decision that used a different evidence standard from the … Continue reading

Stephens’ Squibs – April 2017

Alimony: Cook v. Cook, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D770 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Even without a transcript, denial of alimony remanded when judgment failed to make findings as to need and ability. Martinez v. Martinez, 42 Fla.L.Weely D769 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017).  Error to award $600 per month in permanent alimony in 30 year marriage was reversed … Continue reading

Call to Action From Family Section Chair re: SB 590

Dear Family Law Section Members, The Family Law Section has a standing position against, and has steadfastly refused to endorse, the establishment of any kind of “presumptive” timesharing schedule for Florida’s children and families. Last year, thanks in large part to the diligent efforts of many of our Section members, Governor Scott vetoed a proposed … Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Resolves Military Retirement/Disability Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday, in the case of Howell v. Howell, that a state court cannot offset the loss of a divorced spouse’s portion of a veteran's retirement benefits when that veteran waives retirement pay in favor of disability pay. If you represent military professionals or their spouses, read this opinion.

My Unfortunate Real Life Battle with Darth Vader

If you know me, you know I am a Star Wars fan. It is not just a film to me.  It is the classic example of Joseph Campbell's "Monomyth", or the Hero's Journey.  This is the very blueprint I have employed to constantly expand my comfort zone.  More on that here. So can you imagine … Continue reading

Florida’s Marchman Act to Serve as Model for Country’s Opioid Epidemic?

By Joe Considine Originally Published in The Sober World "The Hal S. Marchman Act was the first law of its kind in the country to get substance abusers into treatment via the courts." The opioid epidemic has gripped the attention of the nation and we are increasingly hearing calls for drastic action. Several states have declared … Continue reading

Stephens’ Squibs – March 2017

Alimony: Van Maerssen v. Gerdts, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D678 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Trial court erred awarding the Wife $6,500 per month in “undifferentiated support” instead of calculating child support and alimony separately.  Failure of court to specify what share is alimony and what share is child support makes it impossible to review on appeal. Conlin … Continue reading

Supreme Court Resolves Hooker Conflict

On March 30, 2017, Florida’s Supreme Court published its opinion of Hooker v. Hooker, 42 FLW S396 (Fla. 2017) that resolves the conflict between Hooker v. Hooker, 174 So.3d 507 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) and Merrill v. Merrill, 357 So.2d 792 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978). The Supreme Court determined the appropriate standard of review to … Continue reading