Articles Posted in Divorce

Florida law allows courts to order parties to pay alimony in divorce actions. Generally, the courts will take multiple things into consideration when determining what constitutes an appropriate alimony award. As such, as explained in a recent Florida opinion, a party that wishes to modify an alimony order usually must demonstrate that there has been a significant change since the order was issued in order to show the modification was warranted. If you need help with an alimony dispute, it is in your best interest to consult a Miami divorce attorney to evaluate your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that in 2019, the trial court issued a final judgment of dissolution, which included an unequal distribution of marital assets favoring the wife and nominal alimony awarded to her based on the husband’s purported lack of ability to pay. In 2020, the wife filed a petition seeking modification of the alimony arrangement, alleging that the husband had not made genuine efforts to secure comparable income since the divorce despite having significant earning potential in banking.

Allegedly, however, the wife didn’t assert any substantial and unanticipated changes in circumstances since the initial judgment. Further, during the subsequent evidentiary hearing, the wife failed to present evidence regarding the former husband’s ability to pay or available employment opportunities in his field. The husband argued that his financial situation hadn’t changed and that the modification standard wasn’t met. He provided evidence of operating a hardware store franchise, which incurred losses, and testified to his inability to find employment in banking due to technological advancements and personal factors. Despite this, the trial court granted the wife’s petition, increasing the husband’s alimony payments. The husband appealed. Continue reading ›

Divorce actions are often contentious, and it is not uncommon for a Florida court to issue an order in a divorce proceeding that prevents a party from taking intentional or inadvertent actions that harm the other party’s interests. If a person fails to comply with the terms of such order, they may be held in contempt of court. As discussed in a recent Florida divorce case, overturning a contempt finding can be challenging. If you want to obtain a divorce, it is wise to confer with a Miami divorce lawyer to evaluate your options.

Procedural and Factual Setting

It is reported that the husband and the wife were involved in an ongoing divorce case. The wife filed two contempt motions against the husband; one of these motions was granted by the trial court. The contempt order the court granted arose from the husband allegedly canceling a credit card that the wife had access to due to her employment with their jointly-owned business. The husband then sought certiorari relief, arguing that the trial court couldn’t consider the credit card issue as it belonged to the business, a non-party to the case.

Certiorari Relief in Divorce Actions

On appeal, the court first explained the principles surrounding certiorari jurisdiction, emphasizing its extraordinary nature and limited application. Specifically, the court noted that certiorari is considered only when there is a departure from the essential requirements of the law and when irreparable harm, not correctable on post-judgment appeal, is demonstrated. The court underscored the importance of a “jurisdictional evaluation” focused on irreparable harm before certiorari can be used for reviewing non-final orders, aiming to discourage piecemeal review. Continue reading ›

Many people involved in divorce proceedings in Florida cannot resolve their disputed issues without a trial. Once the trial is held and the court makes its determinations, it will issue a final order of dissolution. Parties can appeal such orders, but they must follow the procedural rules and guidelines. Otherwise, their appeals may be rejected. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida opinion in which the court denied an appeal of a final judgment of divorce due to the husband’s failure to file a copy of the trial court’s transcript. If you want to obtain a divorce, it is wise to confer with a Miami divorce lawyer to evaluate your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the wife initiated divorce proceedings in October 2018. A trial was held in November 2022, during which the court addressed issues raised in the divorce petition. Following the trial, the trial court issued a final judgment of dissolution. The husband did not file a motion for rehearing following the final judgment. He then appealed the final judgment of dissolution.

Appealing Final Judgments of Dissolution

The husband raised various errors on appeal, primarily challenging the trial court’s factual findings. However, the court emphasized that when errors appear on the face of a final order for the first time, the party must bring attention to the error through a motion for rehearing or a similar motion to preserve it for appeal. Continue reading ›

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In Florida, marital assets are subject to divorce actions, while non-marital assets remain the property of the spouse that owns it. Assets that become comingled, where marital and non-marital funds intermingle, can present challenges during equitable distribution. The court may need to discern the separate contributions of each spouse to determine the appropriate distribution. This was illustrated in a recent Florida divorce action, in which the husband argued that the home he bought before getting married was not a marital asset. The court ultimately disagreed that the wife had no claim to the value of the home, noting that she contributed to its improvement and maintenance throughout the marriage. If you have questions about how the decision to end your marriage could impact you financially, it is wise to speak with a Miami divorce lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife were divorced after more than twenty years of marriage. The husband subsequently challenged the trial court’s amended final judgment of the dissolution of the marriage. On appeal, the husband disputed the trial court’s decision to award the wife permanent alimony, which the husband deemed excessive. Further, he argued that the family home should not have been classified as a marital asset for equitable distribution, as he bought it prior to the marriage. Finally, he asserted that the wife was entitled to more than a 50/50 split of the proceeds from the husband’s Corvette trade-in.

Equitable Distribution in Florida Divorce Actions

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s alimony award without detailed discussion. In doing so, the court noted the husband’s failure to identify a clear error on the record. Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon in Florida divorce actions for one party to agree to pay the other alimony. Such payments may be conditional, however. For example, a support agreement may stipulate that if the party receiving alimony enters into a supportive relationship, there may be grounds for terminating alimony. The court must conduct a certain analysis, however, to determine whether a party is in a supportive relationship, as explained in a recent Florida divorce ruling. If you want to end your marriage, it is in your best interest to talk to a Miami divorce attorney about how the decision may impact you financially.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the parties married in 1995 and ended their marriage in 2013 via a final judgment of dissolution of marriage. The judgment incorporated a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) that mandated the husband’s payment of specified durational alimony to the wife until June 2023. Paragraph 12(d) of the MSA allowed modification or termination of alimony if the wife entered a “supportive relationship” or cohabitated, as defined by Florida Statutes.

Allegedly, in April 2021, the husband filed a petition to modify or terminate alimony, citing paragraph 12(d) and alleging that the wife had a supportive relationship with a man. An evidentiary hearing ensued, after which the trial court terminated the wife’s alimony. The wife then appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida divorce actions, what constitutes marital property, and how such assets should be divided is often one of the most contested issues. Generally, separate property remains separate unless the spouse that owns the property comingles assets or otherwise takes action to commute it into marital property. As discussed in a recent Florida divorce action, absent such conduct, separate property will usually remain separate. If you need assistance protecting your rights in a divorce action, it is wise to meet with a Miami divorce attorney promptly.

History of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife divorced via a final judgment of dissolution entered by the trial court. The husband then appealed the final judgment. At the heart of the dispute are the classification and equitable distribution of assets, specifically related to the husband’s dental practice and the company that owns the building from which the dental practice operated. The trial court initially classified both entities as nonmarital assets, meaning their overall value wouldn’t be divided upon marriage dissolution. The wife contested this classification, however, particularly regarding the enhanced value of asserting that its appreciation during the marriage should be considered a marital asset. The court agreed with the wife, finding that the appreciation of the value of the company was marital property.

In Florida family law actions, as in other proceedings, parties have the right to appeal orders they believe were issued improperly. Such right is not absolute, however, as there are certain prerequisites to filing an appeal, including the requirement that the relief sought must be attainable. This was illustrated in a recent Florida divorce action in which the court found that the husband’s petition for certiorari review was inappropriate. If you are contemplating ending your marriage, it is smart to talk to a Miami divorce attorney about your rights.

Procedural and Factual Setting

It is reported that the husband and the wife were divorcing. During the pendency of the divorce, the court issued a temporary relief order granting exclusive use of the rental property to the wife, establishing her right to possess it. The husband did not seek an appeal at that time, however. The court subsequently issued an order finding the husband in contempt for not vacating the property.

Allegedly, the order did not adjudicate him as being in criminal contempt but was focused on securing compliance with the prior temporary possession order, threatening the husband with 179 days in jail. The husband then sought certiorari review of the contempt order. The order in question did not grant immediate appeal, being neither an enumerated non-final order nor a final order. Continue reading ›

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Florida law permits the courts to grant alimony in certain divorce actions. Alimony awards are based, in part, on the party’s income, assets, and needs. As such, if a party’s financial status changes after the court issues an order granting alimony, the party may seek a modification. As discussed in a recent Florida ruling, modifications will only be granted in certain scenarios, and if a court denies a request for a modification, it does not have to set forth factual findings in support of its ruling. If you want to learn more about your rights with regard to alimony, it is smart to talk to a Miami divorce lawyer.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the husband and the wife divorced in 2003 after a marriage that lasted over 22 years. The Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage incorporated the parties’ marital settlement agreement, which required the husband to pay the wife permanent periodic alimony of $750 bi-weekly. More than fourteen years after the divorce, the husband filed an Amended Supplemental Petition to eliminate or reduce the alimony payments.

Reportedly, during the trial on the husband’s petition, he abandoned his claim that his ability to pay alimony had diminished. Instead, he sought a reduction because the wife’s income had increased. The husband acknowledged income earned as a full-time college professor and his pension. In contrast, the wife testified that her standard of living had declined significantly, stating she was driving a 21-year-old car, residing with her adult daughter, and struggling to make ends meet. The court denied the husband’s petition, and he appealed. Continue reading ›

Generally, in family law cases, parties are required to pay their own attorneys’ fees. There are exceptions, however, where the court will order one party to pay another’s counsel. Generally, though, such orders are only issued as sanctions for vexatious litigation or when one party has a need and the other has the ability to pay. If a court orders a party to pay attorneys’ fees without conducting the necessary analysis, the order may be reversed, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling issued in a divorce action. If you are considering seeking a divorce, it is wise to meet with a Miami divorce attorney to determine your options.

Procedural Setting of the Case

It is alleged that the husband and the wife divorced in 2009. In 2020, the husband filed a modification petition and accused the wife of not repaying a loan, prompting both parties to accuse each other of contempt. The court rejected the husband’s modification petition, granted his contempt claim, and denied the wife’s contempt claim. The wife, representing herself, appealed this decision, and the husband cross-appealed. The appeals court upheld the contempt rulings but dismissed the appeal regarding fees.

It is reported that the husband then sought and was awarded attorney’s fees for contempt and the previous appeal. The order incorrectly referenced a non-existent rule regarding the ability to award fees for contempt, however. There were also mathematical errors in the calculations of fees, and some statements were directly copied from the husband’s proposed order. The court’s order mentioned the wife’s financial situation, questioned her credibility, and ordered her to pay. The court did not discuss the husband’s financial situation. Continue reading ›

Alimony plays a crucial role in many Florida divorces in that it helps lesser-earning parties maintain financial stability after their marriage ends. Merely because a party requests alimony does not mean that it should be granted, however, and even if a court finds that alimony is appropriate, it must comply with statutory guidelines when issuing a support award. In a recent Florida opinion, the court discussed the analysis a court must conduct before issuing an alimony award in a matter in which it ultimately vacated the lower court’s order. If you intend to seek a divorce, it is important to understand how ending your marriage may impact you financially, and you should speak to a Miami divorce attorney.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the parties divorced. In the final judgment of dissolution of marriage, the trial court ordered the husband to pay alimony to the wife. The husband appealed, arguing that the trial court made numerous errors during the process of determining alimony.

Findings Required Prior to Awarding Alimony

The primary issues on appeal were whether the trial court erred in failing to set forth specific findings relating to the parties’ net incomes and in relying on gross income instead of net income for alimony calculations. Continue reading ›