February 2016 Case Law Updates
Once a trial court appoints a magistrate to take testimony and make findings, it loses the prerogative of substituting its judgment for that of the magistrate. The trial court erred in overturning the findings of the magistrate because competent, substantial evidence supported the magistrate's findings, including the income it imputed to the former husband based on the former wife's unrelated testimony regarding his historical earnings.
Mother's apparent gamesmanship lead the 3rd DCA to ignore the lower court's administrative order as not being in the best interests of the children. Very specific fact pattern but a case to keep in mind when administrative orders would yield inequitable results.
When Husband failed to respond to petition or to discovery and court entered default against Husband, it did not remove obligation of the court to include the individual valuation of significant assets and an explanation of distribution in its final judgment.
Trial courts's judgment granting modification of parenting plan which did not include the terms of new parenting plan was reversed. The judgment set forth time-sharing in only general terms. The 5th DCA rejected arguments that such general language was a scrivener's error. 61.12(2)(b) provides that a parenting plan must include certain specificity. For example, awarding the mother every other weekend does not specify when the weekend starts and stops. It is in the best interests of the child, the parties, and the court to include such specifics to minimize future litigation.
Posted by Roy Smith
Feb 29th 2016