Florida child support: when a party ignores administrative support proceedings

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

The State of Florida is authorized to initiate child support proceedings by serving a parent with notice of a proceeding to establish an administrative support order. This process is done by mail with a parent mailing requested proof of income and the Department of Revenue creating a proposed order to be sent to the parent who will pay child support. If the party disagrees with the order he or she can request a hearing. Because failure to respond to these documents could result in the entry of an order against a party which may not have accurate information, it is important not to ignore these mailed notices.

Florida child support: Competent, substantial evidence required to establish business losses

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

To calculate child support in Florida, a Court looks at the incomes of both parents. Income is defined by Florida Statute 61.30 and includes business income. When using business income to calculate child support, Florida law requires the court to subtract ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income from a party’s gross business income.

South Florida Weekend Family Events

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

It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend and if you’re looking for family-friendly fun, look no further than our weekend family fun guide!

Non-verbal gestures and comments about litigant behavior held to be inadequate to disqualify Florida divorce judge

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

Parties to a Florida divorce case are understandably concerned about receiving a fair trial in front of a judge. If a party has a reasonable fear that he or she will not receive a fair hearing in front of a judge, he or she may file a motion for disqualification. However, as we see in the case Erlinger v. Federico, 242 So.3d 1177, certain behavior by a judge, although unpleasant to a litigant, does not automatically disqualify the judge from presiding over a case.

Florida family law procedure: transfer is appropriate when there is a more convenient forum

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

An important component of a Florida family law case is proper procedure. Failure to follow proper procedural steps could result in a party losing a valid argument or claim based on technicalities. For example, knowing where to file your case is an important first procedural step that needs to be followed to start your legal process. In the case Robinson v. Robinson, 248 So.3d 174 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), an order dismissing a suit to set aside a mediated settlement agreement was appealed.

Florida family law procedure: Contempt upheld despite due process claims

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

If an ex-spouse stops paying court-ordered alimony, a remedy available to the other ex-spouse is a contempt proceeding. At a hearing on a motion for contempt, if the court finds a party willfully failed to pay court-ordered support, a suspended jail sentence may be imposed, contingent on the party paying what is called a purge amount within a certain amount of time to avoid jail. Because incarceration is involved, a court must be careful to provide due process protections in these types of hearings.

Florida injunction cannot be broader than necessary to protect the injured party

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

In a tale about two warring neighbors, an issue arose in a Florida appellate case after a trial court granted an injunction restraining one of the neighbors from coming within 500 feet of the other neighbor. The problem, of course, was that this order restricted the neighbor from living in his own house since it was within the 500-foot parameter laid out by the court’s order.

Disclosure of medical records in Florida divorce requires "calamitous event"

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Can a party subpoena all medical records in a Florida divorce? The answer depends on what is at issue in the case, and whether or not the party requesting the records has a good reason for being entitled to them. Take the case Brooks v. Brooks, 239 So.3d 758 (Fla. 1st DCA, 2018) in which the wife subpoenaed the husband’s medical, psychotherapist, pharmacy and employment records based on her allegations of domestic violence and the husband’s angry tirades during custody exchanges.

Setting aside a Florida divorce in favor of annulment

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Annulment

What is the difference between annulment and divorce in Florida? Annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage never existed because it was void or voidable under the law. A divorce, on the other hand, is a legal declaration that a marriage existed but it is now dissolved. Examples of a void or voidable marriage include a marriage between individuals related within a certain degree or a marriage in which one of the spouses is still married to someone else.

Suing adult children in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Divorce can be a process that is filled with animosity. Adding adult children to the opposition no doubt adds to this animosity. The case Perez v. Perez, 238 So.3d 422 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018) presents a situation in which the former wife felt she had no choice but to sue her adult children over property that was at issue in her Florida divorce.

South Florida weekend family events

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

The first weekend of March is upon us, and while the weather continues to heat up, stay cool with our weekend family fun guide!

Retroactive modification of Florida alimony not mandatory

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party seeks to modify his/her alimony obligation or payments, the party can ask the court to retroactively apply any modification so that he or she receives a credit for the alimony amount that should have been paid during the retroactive period. This period is usually limited to the date a party filed a petition for modification. If the court finds alimony should be reduced or increased, it can order that such reduction or increase apply back to the date the petition was filed. If alimony was reduced by $100 per month, for example, and the order was entered 12 months after the petition for modification was filed, the payor might be entitled to a $1,200 credit for over payment of alimony.

Florida divorce: "Courts won't interpret a contract in such a way as to render provisions meaningless when there is a reasonable interpretation that does not do so"

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

We see time and time again how language in a Florida marital settlement agreement can be interpreted in multiple ways. Ultimately, how the court interprets the language is what controls, and how the court arrives at that decision is based on established Florida law. In the case Wells v. Wells, 239 So.3d 179 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), an issue arose regarding the interpretation of a clause of a marital settlement agreement which gave the ex-wife possessory rights over the marital home for what turned out to be a disputed length of time.

Personal jurisdiction required in civil domestic violence cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

When domestic violence threatens a person’s safety, in addition to calling the police, a person has the option of filing a petition for injunction against domestic violence in Florida. The person accused of domestic violence, however, is still entitled to what is known as due process. This basically refers to the person’s right to be sued under “fair” circumstances.

Error to use par value of stock in valuing corporation in Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

When a business interest needs to be divided in a Florida divorce, parties are usually required to hire a forensic accountant to provide expert testimony as to the value of the business, and the accountant usually values it based on the assets held by the business as well as the goodwill associated with the business. In the case Soria v. Soria, 237 So.3d 454 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), the former husband appealed the trial court’s decision to value his business interest based on the par value of the stock in the business.

South Florida weekend family events

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

It’s the last weekend of February, can you believe it? We hope your year continues to get better, and our weekend family fun guide is here to help.

Findings required in a Florida divorce for alimony, insurance and attorneys' fees

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Florida divorces that include substantial assets and income often include claims for alimony and complicated equitable distribution. Such was the case in Burnett v. Burnett, 237 So.3d 447 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) in which the former husband appealed a final judgment awarding permanent alimony, requiring him to maintain life insurance to secure the alimony award and requiring him to pay 100% of the former wife’s attorneys’ fees and costs.

Reversal of a $100,000 sanction in a Florida family law case

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

While we hope that divorcing couples can part ways amicably, that is not always the case. Unfortunately, the divorce court is sometimes put in the position of referee, having to enter orders that control the conduct of the parties toward each other. This is what happened in the case Ash v. Campion, 247 So.3d 581 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).