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

A charging lien can be entered against a party in a Florida divorce case to secure attorneys’ fees from property that is awarded to the party in a final judgment of divorce. Certain requirements must be met before the lien can be imposed, however, as seen in the case Szurant v. Aaronson, 2D18-2092 (Fla. 2d DCA July 17, 2019).

In this case, the attorney’s charging lien stated the firm “is entitled to the equitable distribution of funds [the client] has received from the marital dissolution action and ‘all of her money and/or personal property in her possession.’" According to Florida law, however, a charging lien judgment in a divorce case must be limited only to property received by the client in the divorce as a result of the attorney’s efforts. Therefore on appeal, the charging lien was partially reversed with the appellate court holding, “The wording of the charging lien judgment here is overly broad because it does not limit the charging lien to the proceeds recovered by [the client] as a result of [the attorney’s] efforts in the dissolution action. Therefore, we reverse the charging lien judgment, in part, and remand with directions that the trial court enter an amended judgment striking the language that the charging lien be placed on "all of her money and/or personal property in her possession."

Since particular steps and language must be present to obtain a charging lien, a party facing one should have it explained in-depth by a Florida family law attorney. Schedule a consultation to go over the next best steps in your case.