Viewing entries in
Procedure

Can a judge be disqualified from a Florida family law case?

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

Florida family law litigation rarely involves jury trials. This means cases are decided solely by the judge presiding over the case who hears testimony and reviews evidence. When a party believes the judge is biased or otherwise will not decide a case fairly, what can be done?

Can your Florida homestead be affected if you do not pay your litigation bills?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

The case Seligsohn v. Seligsohn, 4D17-2411 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) provides an example of a case in which many issues can explode from one final judgment. In this matter, the former wife appealed the following issues meriting discussion: (1) the court’s decision to force a sale of homesteaded property to satisfy debt owed to a guardian ad litem; (2) the court’s decision to award ultimate decision making authority to the former husband over the parties’ children; and (3) the court’s order for the wife to attend parenting courses.

The case of a forged signature in a Florida divorce

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

A recent appellate case explores an interesting tale of divorce, forgery, reconciliation and then divorce again. On October 31, 2018, the Florida First District Court of Appeal published the case Holt v. Holt, 1D17-3092 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) in which the husband sought to overturn a 2010 order that he alleged the wife obtained by forging his signature.

Procedure: Standard for awarding attorneys' fees for bad faith conduct

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Sometimes even after a Florida parenting plan is entered, problems can arise when the parties disagree as to the interpretation of certain provisions of the plan. Such was the case in Greene v. Greene, 1D17-2120 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) where the disagreement escalated to the point that the police were called multiple times. In some cases, the court can award attorneys’ fees to the offending party, but a certain standard must be met before doing so.

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. 

Procedure: Discovery cannot be compelled until it is determined to be relevant

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

Discovery is often dreaded by parties involved in a Florida family law case, but it is a necessary part of the procedure that will lead to a trial. Discovery is the process in which each party exchanges certain documents and information to prove his/her side of the case. For example, bank statements, pay stubs and other financial documents may be exchanged as part of discovery to prove a party's ability to pay child support. 

Florida family law procedure: No contempt without notice

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

Can a party be held in contempt if the party never received notice that a contempt complaint was pending against him or her? A recent appellate case reinforces the right of litigants to due process - that is, the right of each party to be heard and to receive notice of proceedings against him/her. 

Miami family law procedure: the right to present evidence

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

Once again, we see due process in action in Florida family law in the case Walters v. Petgrave, 4D18-446 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018). When the trial court in this case denied the mother the opportunity to present her case and then ruled based on the mother not presenting evidence, she appealed the trial court's final judgment. 

Procedure: Presenting evidence in your Miami family law case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

When presenting your Florida family law case to a court, it is crucial to know what evidence should be presented and how. Failure to present your case appropriately may result in you permanently waiving relief to which you may be entitled. 

Attorney’s fees for bad faith litigation in Florida family law cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

Florida law discourages misconduct in litigation by allowing a party to seek attorney’s fees from the opposing party who prolongs litigation or otherwise acts unreasonably in a Florida divorce. But what type of misconduct rises to the level of such punishment? We review this question in the appellate case Myrick v. Myrick, 214 So.3d 769 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017) where the former wife was ordered to pay almost $100,000 in attorney’s fees to the former husband.

Requirements for holding a party in contempt for failure to pay Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

When a party to a Florida family law case fails to pay court-ordered support, if he or she is found in contempt, that party may face jail time, an award of attorneys’ fees to the opposing party, and/or other coercive sanctions. Getting the court to hold a party in contempt requires specific findings to be made as explained in the appellate case Brown v. Brown, 210 So.3d 781 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).

Will your motion for continuance be granted in your Miami family law case?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

Sometimes it is necessary to seek a continuance or delay of a hearing, but it may be difficult to do so if you have a trial date set in your Miami family law case. The decision to grant or deny a request for rescheduling of trial is within a Florida family court's discretion, but on appeal, that discretion can be reviewed to determine if it was abused. What factors may lead an appellate court to reverse an order denying a request for continuance? We examine them in the case Ramadon v. Ramadon, 216 So.3d 26 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017). 

Florida family court procedure: No contempt without due process

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

There are sometimes parties who are so uncooperative in a Florida family law case that the party can frustrate not just the other party in the case, but also the judge. Such was the case in Pattison v. Pattison, 210 So.3d 785 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) where the former husband’s willful non-payment of alimony was noted as “dilatory and egregious”.  As illustrated in this case, this finding was not enough to deprive the former husband of his due process rights.

Protecting due process in Florida family law cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

Due process is a fundamental part of the legal system, including Florida family law cases. Due process includes the right to be heard and to receive fair notice about court proceedings. In the appellate case Barsis v. Barsis, 209 So.3d 654 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017), we see what happens on appeal when the appellate court determines a party was denied due process. 

Family law procedure: the importance of objecting to hearsay

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

The word "hearsay" is often thrown around in conversation, but few know what it really means. Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. There are certain exceptions to the hearsay rule listed in the Florida statutes, but generally, you cannot offer as evidence in a court proceeding what someone said unless it meets those exceptions and/or the person who made the statement is a party or is there to testify about the statement. The consequences of basing decisions on hearsay is seen in the appellate case Washburn v. Washburn, 211 So.3d 87 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). 

Proper procedure: Choosing the right venue in your Miami family law case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Procedure

On a basic level, getting the court to order the relief you want starts with filing in the correct court. If you file your case in the wrong court, you may face frustrating delays and wasted filing fees. The case Nunez-Miller v. MIller, 209 So.3d 619 illustrates this point.