Florida Court Explains Grounds for Challenging a Final Judgment of Dissolution

In Florida divorce actions, the courts will typically issue judgments of dissolution establishing the parties’ rights and obligations with regard to disputed issues like child custody, spousal and child support, and property division. If a court fails to adequately demonstrate the reasoning behind its decision or neglects to take into consideration key evidence, either party may be able to pursue an appeal. In a recent Florida opinion issued in a divorce action, the court explained the grounds for challenging a final judgment of dissolution. If you intend to end your marriage, it is smart to speak with a Miami divorce attorney regarding what measures you can take to protect your rights.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife divorced. During the final hearing, the trial court orally explained its findings on the record. The court subsequently issued a final judgment of dissolution, defining rights and obligations with regard to alimony, timesharing and custody rights, and relocation. The husband then appealed, arguing several points of error. Specifically, he challenged the adequacy of the record on appeal, particularly regarding affidavits related to financial situations, which he failed to include. Additionally, he disputed the start date for child support payments, as the trial court set it before the child’s residency with him ended.

Grounds for Challenging a Final Judgment of Dissolution

On appeal, the court largely affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that while the final dissolution judgment did not precisely adhere to the criteria outlined in the Florida Statutes, the trial court provided oral findings during the final hearing to justify its rulings on relocation, alimony, and timesharing. Further, the court found these findings were backed by ample evidence presented during the proceedings, indicating that the decisions were well-supported despite not aligning perfectly with statutory parameters.

The court found merit in the husband’s contention regarding the child support start date, however. While he did not dispute the amount or calculation of the support obligation, the husband argued a recalibration was necessary to reflect the period the oldest child spent with him. The court agreed, stating that the trial court’s failure to explain its decision or provide a child support worksheet warranted vacating that portion of the judgment. As such, the court instructed the trial court to reassess and provide findings regarding the adjustment for the period when the oldest child resided with the husband, ensuring compliance with statutory provisions.

Confer with a Trusted Miami Attorney

Final judgments of dissolution can permanently impact a party’s duties and rights; as such, it is important that they align with the applicable laws and consider the facts of the case. If you need assistance proceeding with a divorce action, you should confer with an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Miami divorce lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. can assess the facts of your case and aid you in seeking the best legal outcome available. You can contact us at 800-596-0579 or use the form online to set up a meeting.