Case Law updates

The Smith Family Law Florida Case Law Update: Week of May 7, 2018

Posted by Roy Smith on May 11th 2018


Kane v. Kane: Fla 3rd DCA, May 9, 2018.

Trial court erred in entering contempt order for failure to pay alimony payments as former husband had not been provided notice of the motion for contempt or letters leading to the hearing on contempt.  Thus, due process had been denied.

Bellows v. Bellows: Fla 4th DCA, May 9, 2018

Trial court erred in entering order for durational alimony without making findings as to all statutory factors under Florida Statutes 61.08(2).  Trial court’s distribution of a valueless account was also improper when the monies had been depleted during the dissolution but there was no finding that the dissipation was due to intentional misconduct.


The Smith Family Law Florida Case Law Update: Week of April 23, 2018

Posted by Roy Smith on May 08th 2018

Preudhomme v. Preudhomme: Fla 1st DCA, May 3, 2018.

Trial court erred in ruling that timesharing would be rotating (50/50) until the child reached school age at which point the child would be with one parent the majority of the time (as the parents lived in different states).  Such a determination was prohibited prospective-based analysis.  The trial court was ordered to remove the portion of the order relating to the future events (starting of school).

Quillen v. Quillen: Fla 1st DCA, May 3, 2018.

Trial court erred in granting a motion to dismiss former wife’s petition for modification and motion for contempt.  First, it was improper to utilize a motion to dismiss as a vehicle to address the motion for contempt.  Second, there existed a latent ambiguity in the parties’ agreement with regards to alimony and child support set-off to require an evidentiary hearing and parol evidence to resolve the intent of the parties.

Morris v. Morris: Fla 1st DCA, April 30, 2018.

Trial court erred in using the best interest of the child standard to grant temporary custody to step-parent (widower) over father as preference to the natural parents prevails despite the fact third persons are capable and willing to provide better care unless there is sufficient proof to establish parental unfitness or substantial threat of significant and demonstrable harm to the child.  

De La Piedra v. De La Piedra: Fla 1st DCA, April 25, 2018.

Trial court erred in its determination of temporary alimony as there was not sufficient evidence to find an ability to pay.  Further, the temporary child support award did not take into consideration the award of temporary alimony or in-kind alimony.  Finally, the award of temporary attorney’s fees had to be revisited given that the alimony and child support calculations would ultimately impact need and ability to pay.

Overstreet v. Overstreet: Fla 1st DCA, April 25, 2018.  CASE OF FIRST IMPRESSION!!!

Florida Statutes 61.13002(2) which allows a military servicemember to designate a family member to exercise that parent’s time sharing while the servicemember is under temporary assignment orders to relocate away from the child does not apply to permanent change of station.  (1st DCA in case of first impression found that legislature used the term “temporarily assigned” to mean a duty assignment of up to six months away from the member’s permanent duty station that provides for the member’s next duty assignment, whether that be resuming duty at the former PDS, beginning duty at a new PDS, or further temporary duty.). **Note, the court did not need to address the issue of the constitutionality of the statute under the circumstances.



Posted by Roy Smith on Mar 30th 2018

The Smith Family Law Florida Case Law Update: Week of March 26, 2018.


Harris v. Harris: Fla 5th DCA, March 29, 2018:

A party cannot complain of inadequate findings on appeal unless the alleged defect was raised in a motion for rehearing.

Crespo v. Lebron: Fla 5th DCA, March 29, 2018:

While business loss (gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income) can be utilized to decrease income for calculation of support it cannot be based on conclusory testimony, but instead, must be established through competent, substantial evidence.

Zarudny v. Zarudny: Fla. 3rd DCA, March 28, 2018:

Trial court properly entered permanent injunction based on domestic violence.  Although separate findings as to each factor in section 61.13(3) are not required to sustain a temporary award of temporary timesharing, the record or the final judgment must reflect that the custody determination was made in the best interest of the child.  Here, the trial court’s award of temporary 100% timesharing with Mother (with supervised timesharing with Father) under the circumstances was supported.