Use of a vocational expert in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

A spouse who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed may have income imputed to him or her for purposes of calculating alimony in Florida. The spouse who is asking the court to impute income to the other spouse has the burden of proving that the non-working spouse could be working or earning more money. The specific findings which must be made in these cases in explored in the recent appellate case Masino v. Masino, 1D18-450 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).

Florida divorce: Signing a mortgage on a non-marital property

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Dissolution of Marriage

It is generally understood that property a spouse owns prior to marriage is non-marital property belonging to that spouse. During a marriage, sometimes it becomes necessary for the non-owning spouse to sign mortgage documents related to the non-marital property. A recent appellate case examines how this act affects each spouse’s interest in the non-marital property.

South Florida family weekend events

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in South Florida Family Events**

Did you know there are only 108 days remaining in 2018?! Make them count by spending your time with loved ones. If you are looking for fun things the whole family will enjoy, consider this weekend’s lineup of family-friendly events.

Consequences of spending marital funds during a pending Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Dissolution of Marriage

A party who uses funds in a marital bank account to pay for every day living expenses or attorneys’ fees cannot be penalized for it absent a finding of misconduct. In the case McKenzie v. McKenzie, 4D17-2413 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), the appellate court considered the former wife’s appeal of an order assigning to her in the equitable distribution scheme funds that were in an account she used to pay her attorneys’ fees.

Waiving the patient-therapist privilege in a Florida child custody case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When a child is seeing a therapist and a Florida child custody case is pending, a question arises as to whether or not the therapist can be compelled to testify regarding the child’s statements to the therapist. In the case Garcia v. Guiles, 1D17-5125 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), an order allowing the a child’s treating psychotherapist was appealed, and the appellate court discussed the standard for reviewing whether or not the order was appropriate.

Supplementing a Florida child custody order to include a complete parenting plan

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When a final judgment is incomplete, it is not error for a court to supplement it to include omitted provisions. This was the holding in the recent case Swearingen v. Swearingen, 1D17-5011 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) in which the mother appealed the trial court’s decision to supplement the final judgment with a complete parenting plan.

Ordering Florida child support for a child who does not reside in-state

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

If a child does not live in Florida, can a court still order that child support be paid for that child? The answer depends on where the parents reside and whether or not the court has jurisdiction over the parents. As we see in the case Keogh v. Keogh, 5D18-1080 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018), when it comes to deciding whether or not there is jurisdiction to establish a Florida child support order, where the child resides is not the determining factor. 

South Florida family weekend events

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in South Florida Family Events**

Summer is unofficially over, but in South Florida you wouldn't know by looking outside pretty much year-round! In any case, we have some weekend events for you to choose from that will keep the family entertained and help you keep cool as you celebrate Grandparents' Day. 

Florida divorce: How commingling of funds affects equitable distribution

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

When it is time to seek a Florida divorce, many spouses have the misconception that because an asset is titled in one spouse's name alone, the titled spouse owns the asset 100 percent. If the asset was purchased during the marriage with marital funds, this is false - title does not control who owns an asset or who owes a debt incurred during the marriage. How about when a spouse has money earned prior to marriage that is deposited into an account used during the marriage - are those funds and any assets purchased with them marital or non-marital?

Lump sum child support award in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Is it possible to award lump sum child support in Florida? This was an issue considered in the recent case Masnev v. Masnev, 4D17-1238 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) in which the former husband appealed, among other issues, an award of lump sum child support to the former wife. 

Modification of Florida alimony: foreseeable versus contemplated

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Modification of Florida alimony based on retirement has received significant attention this year in the appellate courts. We previously discussed the implications of an alimony recipient reaching retirement age, and today, we review the consequences of the alimony payor reaching retirement age in the case Bauchman v. Bauchman, 4D17-1471 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).

South Florida Labor Day Weekend 2018 family fun

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in South Florida Family Events**

Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and with that the end of August! Check out these family-friendly events happening in your area as you enjoy your 3-day weekend. 

Florida family law procedure: Enforcing out-of-state contempt orders

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Family Law Procedure

The Full Faith and Credit Clause requires that a Florida court recognize another state's orders with some exceptions. In the case New v. Bennett, 1D17-3196 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the appellate court considered the appeal of a trial court's order denying a mother's petition to domesticate an out-of-state order that held her ex in contempt and ordered him to be incarcerated. 

Can a judge modify a Florida divorce agreement?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Parties sometimes spend hours, and even days, in mediation trying to resolve their differences. If the parties are able to resolve all issues, and thus avoid trial, relief is usually in the cards for everyone involved since a significant amount of time and money will be saved. But what if after all of that hard work, a judge does not approve the settlement agreement?

Ness v. Martinez: Adoption of proposed final judgments in Florida family law cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

In Ness v. Martinez, 1D17-2742 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), a myriad of issues were appealed arising from a denied petition for relocation. Among those issues was the mother's objection to the trial court adopting the father's counsel's proposed final judgment. It is common practice for a judge to request that attorneys submit proposed final judgments after presentation of the evidence. 

How long is too long to wait for a Florida divorce decree?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

How long is too long to wait for a final judgment of divorce to be signed in Florida? In one recent case, the parties waited 2 and one-half years! Because of circumstances that arose during that time, the wife appealed the final judgment and today we examine how the appellate court viewed the delay. 

Out-of-state domestic violence injunction must be honored in Florida child custody case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Out-of-state orders concerning child custody are usually fully honored in Florida's family law courts. Florida courts are required to give full faith and credit to orders entered in other states unless those orders go against the public policy of Florida or are otherwise illegal. In the case Smith v. Daniel, 1D17-4240 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the appellate court reviewed a trial court's decision to not honor a Kentucky order preventing the father from having any contact with his child. 

The risk in having a notary or "notario" handle your Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In order to save money, some divorcing couples decide to go to a notary to have that notary fill out templates for divorce case documents. This may work in cases in which there are no children, no property and no financial support issues, but since a notary cannot give legal advice (unless the notary is also a lawyer), depending on one may cost you a lot more than you bargained for. In the case Rodriguez v. Roca, 3D17-1746 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018), the parties ended up in what was probably costly litigation after completing a marital settlement agreement with a notary. 

Florida child custody: Supervised visitation cannot be indefinite

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Supervised visitation is awarded in Florida child custody cases if it is in the best interest of the children to shield them from certain harm which might come from unsupervised timesharing. The most common example is situations involving domestic violence. If a child has witnessed a parent committing domestic violence, or the child has herself been the victim of abuse at the hands of a parent, supervised visits may be appropriate. However, supervised visits usually cannot be permanent as explored in the case Solomon v. Solomon, 3D17-1553 (Fla 3d DCA 2018).