Selected Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 4/14/17

Aranda v. Padilla (Fourth DCA, April 12, 2017) (1) The trial court erred by awarding the motion sole parental decision making authority without an explicit finding—in the judgment or on the record—that shared parental responsibly would be “determinantal” to the child.  The District Court noted that the trial court justified its award based on the […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 3/31/17

Zarzaur v. Zarzaur, Jr. (First DCA, March 27, 2017 The trial court permitted the husband to obtain all of the wife’s mental health and other medical records.  The First District granted certiorari review and quashed the bulk of the order. Initially, the District Court observed that mental health records are typically protected by the psychotherapist-patient […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 3/10/17

McClure v. Beck, Jr. (Fourth DCA, March 8, 2017) In a modification proceeding, the trial court modified the parties’ shared parental responsibly to provide that if the parties are unable to agree on major decisions affecting the minor child, that the father would have ultimate decision-making authority.  The trial court stated that major decisions “include, […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 3/3/17

Conlin v. Conlin (Second DCA, March 1, 2017) The Second District reversed a permanent alimony award because it found that the trial court erroneously calculated the husband’s ability to pay based on his gross, rather than his net, income.  The Second District inferred this from the fact that the final judgment contained an explicit finding […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 2/24/17

Pattison v. Pattison (First DCA, February 24, 2017) In a post-judgment contempt case, the trial court held the former husband in willful contempt for failing to make his alimony payments.  As a sanction, the court: (1) sentence the former husband to eleven months and twenty-nine days incarceration; (2) ordered the former husband to make specified […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 2/17/17

Ledoux-Nottingham v. Downs (Florida Supreme Court, February 16, 2017) The mother and father divorced in Colorado in 2010 and soon after the father died.  The father’s parents (the “grandparents”) sought visitation with the children and the Colorado court granted their request.  The mother domesticated the Colorado order in Florida and asked to modify it based […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 2/10/17

Hudson v. Hudson (First DCA, February 7, 2017) During the divorce proceedings, the husband and wife entered into a partial settlement agreement giving the wife exclusive use and possession of the marital home.  Despite this, the husband continued to reside with her until trial.  At trial, the wife testified that husband had refused to leave, […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 2/3/17

Munoz v. Munoz (Second DCA, February 3, 2017) The trial court entered a final judgment that significantly restricted the father’s timesharing rights with the children by: (1) implementing a 3-tiered phase-in for the father’s daytime timesharing; and (2) failing to award the father any overnight visitation even after completion of the phase-in plan.  The father […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 1/27/17

Beckford v. Drogan (Fourth DCA, January 27, 2017) In this en banc decision, the District Court receded from its prior precedent which held that section 742.045, which authorizes attorney’s fees in paternity cases, did not allow for appellate fees related to paternity cases.  The Court noted that nothing in the statute prohibits such awards, and […]

Family Law Appellate Update for week ending 1/20/17

Jimenez v. Jimenez (Fourth DCA, January 18, 2017) Among other things, the parties’ final judgment of divorce awarded the wife permanent alimony and ordered that the husband carry life insurance in the wife’s name to secure the award.  Further, the judgment ordered that when the husband’s child support obligation ended, his alimony would automatically increase.  […]