COVID-19 UPDATE: Sandy T. Fox, P.A. remains open remotely to serve our community and assist them with their family law needs. We can be reached via the contact form on the site, and meetings can be handled virtually through the Zoom teleconferencing app.

Broadly speaking, Florida courts have the authority to grant alimony and establish the proper amount of maintenance. However, the courts must follow specific rules, and if they award alimony outside of the prescribed bounds without good reason, their decisions may be overturned. A Florida court recently reviewed grounds for overturning a trial court’s alimony order in a divorce case when the support obligation left the paying party with significantly less money than the party receiving support. If you want to dissolve your marriage or have been served with divorce papers, you should contact a reputable Florida divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your choices.

The Trial Court’s Decision

According to reports, the couple filed a petition for divorce. The parties each presented external auditors who testified about the husband’s ability to pay alimony during the case’s trial. The experts’ opinions were based on the value of the husband’s business, changes in industry norms that affected his firm, operational costs, and the line of credit he was obliged to maintain for the business’s operation.

The wife’s expert allegedly stated that she required more than $9,000 every month and that the husband earned more than $15,000 each month. The husband’s expert, on the other hand, testified that the wife needed about $7,800 each month and that the husband had a negative net income of about $2,000 each month. The trial court determined that the husband could pay $8,000 per month in alimony and ordered him to give the wife with dental and health insurance as well as get a life insurance policy to guarantee the alimony. The husband filed an appeal. Continue reading ›

While it may not happen often, it is possible for a party to a divorce action passes away while the case is pending. In such cases, the courts are likely to dismiss the case because a petition for dissolution of marriage is rendered irrelevant if one of the parties is no longer alive. However, as indicated in a recent Florida judgment, the court approaches the issue of implementing a divorce decree differently if one of the former spouses passes away. If you want to leave your marriage, you should talk with an experienced Florida divorce lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your choices.

The Case’s Details

In 2008, the husband and wife got divorced, according to reports. The woman had the right to remain in the former marital harm under their marital settlement agreement, which was incorporated into the final judgment of dissolution. The right was given on the condition that the wife would take on certain financial responsibilities associated with the home. The spouse died not long after the couple divorced.

The husband’s estate then allegedly filed two motions: one wanting to be substituted as a party in the divorce case, and the other asking for the wife to be ordered to leave the residence. The second motion was based on the claim that the wife had failed to meet the financial commitments imposed by the marital settlement agreement, resulting in the home’s foreclosure. The motions were dismissed by the trial court, and the estate appealed. Continue reading ›

When a couple decides to divorce, the court is usually entrusted with settling matters like property distribution and whether either side is due child support or alimony . However, if the court makes an error or relies on false evidence, either side can appeal the decision. In a recent opinion in a Florida case, the grounds for seeking and getting a reversal of a trial court ruling in a divorce action were discussed. If you want to end your marriage, you should speak with an experienced Florida divorce lawyer about your options.

The Decision of the Trial Court

The couple allegedly wanted to end their marriage through divorce. Following the trial court’s issuance of a final ruling ending the marriage both parties appealed. The husband, among other things, opposed the equitable division, while the wife protested the child support award. The court overturned the trial court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Orders in Divorce Cases Can Be Reversed

Initially, the husband objected to the trial court’s equitable distribution order. The abuse of discretion threshold is applied to a trial court’s allocation of marital responsibilities and assets, according to the appellate court. Furthermore, factual determinations based on significant competent evidence must be used to support the final distribution of marital assets. Continue reading ›

Married couples often accumulate assets over the course of their marriage, and how that property should be split is often one of the most contentious issues when they divorce. The state of Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the courts are free to divide marital assets in any way they see proper. Whether a court distributes property equally or unequally, it must establish a factual foundation for its decision, and if it fails to do so, the decision may be overturned. This was recently proven in a Florida opinion issued in a divorce proceeding. It is in your best interest to contact with a Florida divorce attorney about your rights if you decide to end your marriage.

The Case’s Background

The couple allegedly married in 2002. During their marriage, they had two little children. The spouse served in the US military until he was honorably discharged in 2017 owing to mental and physical injuries sustained in many incidents. The Veterans Administration determined that he was 100 percent disabled and awarded him disability compensation.

Later that year, the wife reportedly filed for divorce. The husband stayed in the marital house, while the woman moved in with her parents with the children. Both parties filed an equitable distribution worksheet to seek an equitable allocation of the assets. The husband sought that he be allowed to maintain the marital home in exchange for taking on the mortgage, whilst the wife urged that the house be sold and the proceeds split. The court delivered a final ruling that mostly followed the husband’s planned asset and liability division, but ordered the marital home to be sold. The husband filed an appeal. Continue reading ›

It is critical to litigate a family law issue in the proper jurisdiction in order to preserve the rights of all parties concerned. When a couple has lived in more than one jurisdiction during the course of their marriage, the question of which state or country has the authority to decide over the divorce proceedings might lead to contentious disagreements. In a case where divorce proceedings were filed in both Spain and Florida, a Florida court recently reviewed the process of assessing what court has jurisdiction over a divorce action. If you wish to seek a divorce, you should consult with an experienced Florida family law attorney to assess what actions you should take to protect your rights.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the husband and wife, both Spanish citizens, married in Spain in 2008. They moved to Southern Florida after having two children. They were subsequently accused of criminal activity in Luxembourg, after which the husband pressured the wife to sign an agreement. The wife refused and then fled with the children to Florida, prompting the husband to submit an emergency petition for the children’s return as well as a divorce petition.

It is reported that the husband subsequently filed a second divorce petition in Spain. Following his dismissal of the Florida case, the wife filed her own divorce petition in Florida. The husband then served the wife with the Spanish divorce petition and moved to dismiss the Florida case. The court ultimately concluded that Spain had jurisdiction over the matter and granted the husband’s motion. The wife appealed. Continue reading ›

Posted in:
Published on:
Updated:

When a couple with minor children decides to end their marriage, they will typically be granted joint custody rights.  In some cases, however, the court will grant one parent will be greater custody rights at first. Subsequent changes in the parties’ situations are common, though, and will typically inspire the court to modify the custody order and grant the other parent primary custody of the child. A Florida court recently considered whether a modification order that transfers the majority of parental time from one parent to the other must contain provisions that allow for the other parent to take measures to restore significant time sharing rights. If you are fighting for custody of your child, it is in your best interest to consult a dedicated Florida child custody lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Factual Background

Allegedly, the mother and father separated in 2015. The mother was awarded the majority of parental time with the couple’s minor child under the terms of the divorce decree. The father requested a change in the parenting arrangement in 2019. The adjustment was granted by the court, resulting in the father receiving the majority of parenting time.

The most divisive issues in many divorce proceedings are how to distribute property and whether either party is due to spousal maintenance. In some cases, spousal support may be appropriate, but the court must first establish specific factual findings before issuing an order requiring one spouse to provide financial support to the other; otherwise, the decision may be unfair. In a recent Florida opinion, a court discussed whether alimony was acceptable after the husband challenged an order providing the wife support. If you’ve decided to seek a divorce, it is smart to enlist the services of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer to fight for your rights.

The Factual Background

It is reported that the husband and wife had been married for over two decades when the wife filed for divorce in 2016. The husband worked as a neurologist for most of the marriage, but he had a heart attack four years after they married and received disability payments, so he cut back on his work hours. The wife was initially was a stay-at-home mom but went back to work as a physical therapist a few years before the marriage ended.

Allegedly, the husband was earning around $200,000 per year at the time of the divorce, while the wife was making around $85,000. The court issued an order awarding the wife alimony in the amount of $2,000 per month. The husband filed an appeal, claiming that the court had failed to make the requisite factual findings to sustain the order. Continue reading ›

Posted in:
Published on:
Updated:

If a party declines to reply to a complaint in a divorce matter, the court may issue a default judgment against them, just as it might in other lawsuits. While a default decision may be appropriate in a simple divorce case, it is not acceptable in a case involving child custody. In a recent Florida opinion, the appellate court discussed whether a judgment by default in a custody matter was proper, ultimately ruling that it was not. If you or your spouse intends to seek a dissolution of your marriage, it is critical to understand your rights, and you should meet with a capable Florida divorce attorney as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the couple wed in 2015. They had one child together, but shortly thereafter ended their romantic relationship. The wife instituted a divorce action in 2019. The wife noted in her petition that the parties shared a child. The wife was living in Key West, the husband in Illinois, and the child was living with the husband’s relatives in Florida at the time. A Sheriff’s deputy in Illinois personally served the divorce papers to the husband.

The husband allegedly did not appear in court or make any attempt to challenge the divorce. A hearing took place in February 2020, and a special magistrate suggested that the wife’s petition be granted, giving her sole custody of the child. The court subsequently issued a default judgment, terminating the marriage and awarding exclusive custody of the child to the wife. The husband then filed an appeal. Continue reading ›

Posted in:
Published on:
Updated:

Generally, when a parent wishes to define custody rights, they will file a custody lawsuit in the jurisdiction in which they, their child, and their co-parent reside. In some instances, however, co-parents may not agree as to which county or state is considered the child’s place of residence. In such instances, the Florida courts will typically analyze numerous factors to determine where the child’s home exists and if it can exercise jurisdiction over a custody dispute pertaining to the child. For example, in a recent Florida opinion, a court explained what it considers when evaluating whether a child is a Florida resident, in a case in which the mother and father filed custody disputes in New Jersey and Florida, respectively. If you are engaged in a dispute over custody, it is advisable to contact a Florida child custody lawyer to assess your options for seeking a favorable outcome.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father lived with the father’s parents in Florida for many years. Once the child was conceived, the parents moved to New Jersey to obtain the care of a specific obstetrician. The mother gave birth to the child in New York, after which the parents and child went back to Florida. They initially intended just to vacation there but ended up living with the paternal grandparents again for over six months. The mother returned to New Jersey on numerous occasions during that time to tend to her business.

Allegedly, the parties’ relationship deteriorated, and the mother returned to New Jersey with the child. She then sought an injunction for protection against domestic violence, and one week later, the father filed a paternity action in Florida. The following day, the mother filed a custody action in New Jersey and moved to dismiss the Florida paternity case, arguing New Jersey had jurisdiction over the child under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The trial court conducted a hearing, after which it denied the motion. The mother then appealed. Continue reading ›

Parties who share custody of a child do not always agree with the court’s determination as to their custody rights. While they have the right to seek a modification, they must produce evidence that is sufficient to show that a change is necessary; otherwise, the courts should deny their request. If a court grants a custody order without finding that it is warranted due to a significant change in circumstances, the order may be reversed on appeal. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the court reversed the trial court’s order modifying custody on the grounds that it did not include such a finding. If you need assistance with a custody dispute, it is smart to speak to a Florida child custody lawyer about your options for protecting your parental rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that a trial court issued an order modifying the father’s timesharing rights with regards to a minor daughter. Shortly before the modification order was issued, though, another court entered a five-year domestic violence injunction order against the father, which, among other things, limited his timesharing with his daughter to supervised visits. In contrast to the injunction, the modification order issued in the custody proceeding granted the father unsupervised timesharing rights after he completed specified requirements. The mother appealed the order modifying custody.

Grounds for Modifying Child Custody Orders

The appellate court found in favor of the mother and reversed the custody order, and remanded the matter for further proceedings. The appellate court noted that the modification order, on its face, neglected to state that any material, substantial, and unexpected change in circumstances had occurred after the injunction order was entered or that a modification of the injunction order was in the minor child’s best interests. Continue reading ›

01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08