Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.

July 2011 Archives

Actions to Set Aside Judgments of Adoption in Florida

An action to set aside a judgment of adoption must be filed w/in one year after entry of the judgment. "Two years later, the biological mother moved to vacate the court's judgment, arguing the adoptive parents fraudulently obtained her consent. The adoptive parents moved to dismiss, contending that Florida's statute of repose barred the biological mother's claim. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss, and this petition followed. On petition for certiorari or prohibition, the adoptive parents assert that the trial court erred in denying the motion to dismiss because Florida's statute of repose strictly limits motions to vacate adoption orders to one year. There are no exceptions. The biological mother contends that the trial court correctly ruled that Florida's statute of repose is not applicable where there is an allegation of fraud. We agree with the adoptive parents and reverse. Florida has an independent statute of repose for adoptions. § 63.182, Fla. Stat. (2009). The statute provides that 'an action or proceeding of any kind to vacate, set aside, or otherwise nullify a judgment of adoption or an underlying judgment terminating parental rights on any ground may not be filed more than 1 year after entry of the judgment terminating parental rights.' §63.182 (emphasis added)." Martin v. Martin

Child Relocation in Palm Beach County, Florida

Parent seeking relocation in Florida has burden of demonstrating that relocation is in child's best interests, and if that burden is met, the burden shifts to the non relocating parent to demonstrate that the relocation is not in the child's best interests. In Orta v. Suarez, the Florida Court of Appeal stated...

Contempt of Court in Florida

Enforcement - Contempt of Court in Florida

If a party has a good faith basis to questions whether payments are required, contempt of court is not the appropriate remedy. An order requiring payment is the more appropriate course of action. "Because the husband had a good faith basis to question whether the medical expenses for which the wife sought payment were reasonable and necessary, we conclude that the circuit court should not have held him in contempt. See Sulman v. Sulman, 510 So. 2d 908, 909 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987) ("We do not disapprove of the trial court's decision not to hold the former husband in contempt, since his challenge to the request to pay appears to have been in good faith and his behavior does not appear to constitute willful disobedience of a court order.") (citation omitted). We remand for the circuit court to vacate the order of contempt and to enter an order requiring the husband to pay the wife the final charge of $169,746.82 within thirty days of the court's order. If the husband fails to comply with that order, then the wife may file a new motion for contempt." Lustgarten v. Lustgarten.

Division Of Property And Assets in Palm Beach County, Florida

Division of Marital Property and Marital Assets - Marital Settlement Agreements in Florida.

The burden of proof is on the party claiming that part of a marital asset has a nonmarital component. In Konz v. Konz, the Florida Court of Appeal stated...

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