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Divorce

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Equitable distribution provisions of Florida divorce decree are non-modifiable unless court reserves jurisdiction stating otherwise

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In Farid v. Rabbath, 1D17-4173 (Fla. 1st DCA May 16, 2019), the former husband took issue with the trial court’s decision to modify the equitable distribution provisions of the parties’ final judgment. Specifically, after both parties were found in contempt of the order to pay each other certain sums, the court re-worked their property settlement agreement to achieve what it deemed an equitable result.

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Temporary relief in Florida divorce requires same findings as permanent relief

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

A Florida divorce case can take a year or more to get to a final hearing or trial. Sometimes parties need relief immediately such as alimony, child support or time-sharing, and cannot wait the year or more to get it. This is why Florida family law allows the award of temporary relief on these issues and many more. In the case Jooste v. Jooste, 4D18-2736, May 8, 2019), the wife appealed a decision on her motion for temporary alimony, child support and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Florida divorce: Wrong classification of non-marital property was "harmless error"

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In the appellate case Goley v. Goley, 1D18-9 (Fla. 1st DCA May 6, 2019), the former wife appealed a trial court’s decision to credit real property to her in equitable distribution which she contended reduced her alimony award and affected her entitlement to attorneys’ fees. Although the appellate court found the trial court erroneously concluded the property was marital, it nonetheless affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

Provision of Florida final judgment of divorce allowing for attorneys' fees in future proceedings reversed on appeal

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In most cases, Florida family law judgments cannot make rulings based on future circumstances or events. This is because life changes and circumstances change frequently, so it is impossible to know in present-time whether or not a ruling made today is just or equitable when applied in the future. The recent appellate case Du Perault v. Du Perault, 4D18-1226 (Fla. 4th DCA May 1, 2019) affirms this concept.

Payment of joint expenses should be taken into account to calculate retroactive Florida child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In a recent Florida family law case, the former husband appealed the trial court’s determination of a parenting plan, retroactive child support, and ongoing child support. The case Johnson v. Johnson, 5D17-4093 (Fla. 5th DCA April 5, 2019) sheds light on what could be considered common mistakes with regard to these issues.

Payment of marital and non-marital debts with marital assets during a pending Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Is a party allowed to cash out his or her retirement plan to pay off debts while a Florida divorce is pending? This situation arose in the case Welton v. Welton, 4D18-1516 (Fla. 4th DCA March 6, 2019) in which the former husband appealed a trial court order that found he committed intentional misconduct when he depleted his retirement account to pay marital and separate debts. The former husband also appealed the trial court’s valuation of his stock and the amount he was to receive from a trust.

Child support, attorneys fees and equitable distribution errors in Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

A recent appellant case in which child support, equitable distribution and attorneys’ fees were appealed sheds light on interesting issues that may arise when a final judgment is entered. The case Mattison v. Mattison, 5D18-304 (Fla. 5th DCA March 8, 2019) involved a less than three-year marriage with two minor children.

Florida divorce: improper venue vs. inconvenient venue

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

What is the correct venue for a Florida divorce? According to Florida law, it is the county in which the parties last resided during the intact marriage. There is an important distinction between incorrect venue and inconvenient venue as stated in the case Knapp v. Knapp, 1D17-2869 (Fla. 1st DCA February 28, 2019).

Florida divorce: Credit for marital expenses after a motion for rehearing is filed

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

A party who disagrees with a court ruling in a Florida divorce has the right to challenge that ruling in various ways. One method (which is often required before the party can appeal to a higher court) is to file a timely motion for rehearing and/or reconsideration after a final judgment is entered. With this motion, a party can ask a court to “fix” mistakes the court may have made in entering the final judgment, such as overlooking certain evidence, not applying the correct standard of law, not making required findings, etc. As one recent appellate case shows, it is important to ask for certain relief that extends beyond a motion for rehearing in order to preserve a claim to that relief.

Florida divorce: Line of credit on non-marital property does not transform classification of property

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Can property a spouse owned before marriage be transformed into marital property? Yes, in some instances, but usually the transformation is intentional, such as a gift to the other spouse. In instances in which it is not intentional, however, the spouse claiming that non-marital property has been transformed has the burden of proving this to the court.

How gifts from family members affect a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Throughout a marriage, one spouse or the other may gift substantial money to family members. Can these gifts be held against the spouse who gave the money away when it is time to divorce? What about monetary gifts received from family members - can these funds be used to determine a spouse should not receive alimony or an award of attorneys’ fees in a Florida divorce? The recent appellate case Sarazin v. Sarazin, 1D17-5237 (Fla. 1st DCA February 5, 2019) examines these issues.

Florida divorce: former spouses cannot be forced to be business partners

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Divorcing spouses no longer want to be in a marriage together, and they may no longer want to be business partners in a jointly-owned corporation. Thus, Florida law favors not forcing ex-spouses to continue to jointly operate and own a marital business. Instead, the court is required to fashion a remedy that takes into account each spouse’s share of the business.

Florida divorce: allegations of fraud deserve an evidentiary hearing

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Sometimes parties hide assets in a Florida divorce. This results in a spouse not receiving his or her fair share of the marital estate. In the case Rowe-Lewis v. Lewis, 4D18-1982 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019), the former wife appealed an order denying her motion to set aside the final judgment based on the fraud of the former husband in not disclosing all of his assets. The former wife also appealed the court’s denial of her alimony claim.

Judicial discretion in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Marriages that end in divorce after decades usually involve substantial assets and an alimony claim. Such was the case in Dorsey v. Dorsey, 1D17-5375 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). Both parties appealed aspects of the trial court’s final judgment concerning equitable distribution, alimony, child support and attorneys’ fees. Many of the issues appealed allow for judicial discretion, which means the trial court has a choice in choosing between certain remedies for parties.

How bad behavior affects a Florida divorce case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Parties are understandably emotionally invested in the outcome of their divorce case. Sometimes this leads to erratic and unpleasant behavior which can negatively affect both parties. In the case Rawson v. Rawson, No. 1D17-1413 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), we see how such behavior can affect a judge’s ruling on issues such as alimony and equitable distribution.