Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. - Palm Beach Gardens Family Law And Divorce Lawyer

April 2011 Archives

RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATION OF CHILD CUSTODY STATUTE IN FLORIDA

Child Custody & Visitation - Retrospective Application of Child Custody Statute in Florida

A statute is effective on the date that it takes effect, unless it indicates that it is retrospective. "'A statute is not operative as law until the date at which it takes effect [,] and it operates retrospectively unless the intent that it operate retrospectively is clearly expressed." Id. at 947 (quoting Imperial Point Colonnades Condo., Inc. v. Freedom Props. Int'l, Inc., 349 So. 2d 1194, 1195 (Fla.4th DCA 1977). This is particularly true because there are instances where retrospective operation of the law would act to impair or destroy existing rights. Id. (citing Horn v. Fla. Dep't of Revenue ex rel. Abel, 752 So. 2d 687, 688 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000). The Fourth District concluded that the application of the statute "clearly impaired the former wife's existing rights over her children." Id. We reach the same conclusion. Here, the Mother's rights were set forth in a contract that utilized then-existing statutory law. The retrospective application of the new statute would impair those rights. We agree, too, with the Fourth District's conclusion that the legisla¬ture did not intend the retroactive application to child custody judgments which became final before the effective date of the legislation." Bachman v. McLinn 

Child Support - Failure to Exercise Overnight Visitation

Failure to exercise substantial overnight visitation is ground for retroactively modifying child support.

"[A] parent's subsequent failure to actually exercise the amount of overnight visitation that has been ordered is grounds for retroactively modifying the adjusted support. § 61.30(11)(c); Keeley v. Keeley, 899 So. 2d 387 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005)." Smith v. Smith. 

Retroactive Alimony - Prejudgment Interest | Lane & Associates

If a party obtains an award of retroactive alimony, that party may also obtain prejudgment interest on the award. "Also, the Wife is entitled to prejudgment interest on the alimony arrearage owed by the Husband. See Burkley v. Burkley, 911 So. 2d 262, 271 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005) ("[T]he court...would err by declining to award prejudgment interest for arrearages. Courts must award prejudgment interest on arrearages found to be due in the final judgment."); see also Miller v. Miller, 679 So. 2d 858, 858 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) Gremel v. Gremel 

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