Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

April 2012 Archives

Division of Property And Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

Florida Rulings Division of Marital Property and Marital Assets - Sale of Marital Home in Florida If a trial court orders the sale or refinance of the marital home, the court must fix a reasonable deadline for the sale or refinance. "The trial court awarded the former wife possession of the marital home and awarded the former husband one-half of the equity in the home. Pursuant to the final judgment, the former husband was to be paid his half of the equity upon the refinancing or sale of the home. The final judgment did not, however, include a date by which such refinancing or sale must occur. We agree with the former husband that the trial court erred by failing to include a deadline for the refinancing or sale of the marital home. If the trial court orders the sale of the marital home in the final judgment "the judgment must fix a reasonable deadline by which the sale must take place." Sullivan v. Sullivan, 363 So. 2d 393, 395 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978) (citing Carlsen v. Carlsen, 346 So. 2d 132, 133 (Fla. 2d DCA 1977)). As was the case in Sullivan, "[t]he judgment now before us is deficient because it sets no deadline for the sale of the home by the parties." Id. We therefore reverse that portion of the final judgment which fails to set a deadline for sale or refinancing of the marital home and remand for the trial court to provide such deadline. See Blackmon v. Blackmon, 969 So. 2d 426, 430 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007)." Gulledge v. Gulledge, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D504 (Fla. 2d DCA February 29, 2012)

Alimony in Palm Beach County, Florida

Alimony - Consideration of Debts in Florida

Trial court must consider all 61.08 factors, including pre-dissolution debts. "We reverse the trial court's award of $1,500 per month in permanent periodic alimony, and $18,000 in retroactive alimony, as we conclude that the trial court's financial analysis was tainted by its failure to properly consider all of the relevant factors pursuant to section 61.08. Specifically, the trial court did not properly consider: each spouse's pre-dissolution debts; the income Dan receives from his Fidelity Magellan Retirement account; and the $7,000 reduction to Ava's annual salary." Byrne v. Byrne. 

Child Support - Paternity Testing in Florida Guardian ad Litem

Trial court is required to appoint a guardian ad litem to determine child's best interests. "For example, if paternity is contested, the child' s legitimacy is at issue, and the legal father has not had notice or an opportunity to be heard, the trial court is required to appoint a guardian ad litem and hear from the guardian and all the parties before proceeding. See Privette, 617 So. 2d at 308; Daniel, 695 So. 2d at 1255. At a minimum, the court must evaluate the best interests of the child. See Hebner v. Barry, 834 So. 2d 305 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003) (reversing trial court's order that putative father undergo blood testing where trial court failed to make findings of fact in regard to whether the paternity test was in best interests of the child); Lander, 906 So. 2d at 1135 (remanding for a hearing in a case where the putative father brought the paternity action, and directing that the best interests of the child be considered)." Dep't of Revenue o/b/o Garcia v. Iglesias

Child Custody And Visitation in Palm Beach County, Florida

When there is a custody dispute between a parent and a third party custody should only be denied to the natural parent when an award of custody to the natural parent would be detrimental to the child. "When the custody dispute is between a natural parent and a third party, however,...custody should be denied to the natural parent only when such an award will, in fact, be detrimental to the welfare of the child. In re Guardianship of D.A.McW., 460 So. 2d 368, 369-70 (Fla. 1984); see Richardson v. Richardson, 766 So. 2d 1036, 1039 (Fla. 2000) (holding that where a parent seeks to modify a third party custody award the test to be applied is whether the parent is fit and whether a change in custody will be detrimental to the child)...See Bateman v. Johnson, 818 So. 2d 569, 571 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (defining detriment as \"more than the normal trauma caused to a child by uprooting him from familiar surroundings such as often occurs by reason of divorce, death of a parent or adoption...the change in custody would have to be likely to produce mental, physical, or emotional harm of a lasting nature\") (citations omitted)." Slover v. Meyer.

Child Support - Paternity Testing in Florida

A putative father seeking to avoid a paternity test can raise the Privette presumption. A putative father seeking to avoid a blood test may raise the presumption in the context of his privacy interest. See Privette, 617 So. 2d at 309 n.8 (Fla. 1993) ('By asserting a privacy interest the putative father necessarily puts in issue the child's best interests, which substantially implicates the presumption. If the child's best interests require maintaining the presumption, then the presumption will prevail because the State will lack a compelling interest justifying the blood test.'). Dep't of Revenue o/b/o Garcia v. Iglesias

Child Support - Department of Revenue in Florida

Department of Revenue in Florida

Department of Revenue (DOR) can file paternity action against both legal and biological fathers. "DOR's position is that it may file a paternity action against both the legal father and biological father, and that the issues of the best interests of the child and the presumption of legitimacy should be dealt with during the proceedings. We agree."

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Palm Beach Gardens Office
The Financial Center at the Gardens
3801 PGA Boulevard
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Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410

Phone: 561-328-1095
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