Florida Court Discusses the Enforcement of Divorce Decrees After a Party’s Death

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.

Divorce Decrees and Their Enforcement After a Party’s Death

A court may allow the substitution of a party in the case of a person’s death, as long as the claims in question are not extinguished by death, according to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The appellate court explained that state law requires the suit to be terminated and dismissed if a spouse dies before a definitive judgment of dissolution is entered. However, if the final judgment was entered before a spouse’s death, the court retains jurisdiction and can settle any unresolved property disputes.

The husband died after the final verdict was delivered in the case at hand, according to the appellate court. Furthermore, the trial court was given explicit authority to enforce the final judgment as well as the included marital settlement agreement. As a result, the appellate court determined that the husband’s estate had no basis to file a fresh lawsuit in probate court, as the trial court had indicated. As a result, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the matter.

Consult with a Trusted Miami Attorney

Courts in Florida have the authority to enforce family law decrees long after they have been entered, therefore anyone seeking to enforce or modify a divorce order should see a lawyer. If you want to end your marriage, the trusted Miami attorneys of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., can assist you in pursuing a just dissolution. We have an office in Aventura, and we frequently represent people in divorce cases in Miami. You can contact us through our form online or at 800-596-0579 to set up a meeting.