Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.

May 2012 Archives

Overcoming the Presumption of Paternity in Florida

Florida Rulings Paternity - Overcoming the Presumption of Paternity in Florida The presumption that a man married to the biological mother is the legal father of the child may be overcome based on the child's best interests. "There is a strong presumption 'that a man married to the biological mother is in fact the legal father of the child. This presumption is one the strongest rebuttable presumptions known to law and is based on the child's interest in legitimacy and the public policy of protecting the welfare of the child." G. T. v. Adoption of A.E.T., 725 So. 2d 404, 410 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999) (citing, inter alia, Privette, 617 So. 2d 305). Nevertheless, the presumption is not conclusive and may be overcome with "clear and compelling reason based primarily on the child's best interests" Privette, 617 So. 2d at 309 (emphasis added)." J.T.J. v. N.H. and E.R.

Child Support - Enforcement Hearing in Florida

Florida Rulings Child Support - Enforcement Hearing in Florida A party who is called by his opponent to testify on direct, has the right to testify during rebuttal as well. "Accordingly, we reverse the order finding appellant in contempt. Further, on remand we direct that a new evidentiary hearing be held because appellant, over objection, was prevented from presenting rebuttal evidence before the contempt order was entered. A person facing civil contempt is entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard. See Bresch v. Henderson, 761 So. 2d 449, 451 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000). Although appellant had been called to the witness stand by appellee and testified on direct and cross-examination, he was not allowed to present his own case in rebuttal. By preventing appellant from presenting any rebuttal evidence, he was denied the opportunity to be heard. See Hipschman v. Cochran, 683 So. 2d 209, 211 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996)" Ramirez v. Ramirez

Financial Affidavits in Florida

Florida Rulings Child Support - Financial Affidavits in Florida Both parties must file financial affidavits for the trial court to award child support. "The appellant, Ari Palewsky, in this appeal from an order approving a magistrate's report determining paternity and awarding child support, submits that, because the mother had not filed a financial affidavit, the trial court erred in determining the child support award. The appellee, the Department of Revenue, concedes that, in accordance with rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, both parties' financial affidavits must be a part of the record, but argues that the absence of the mother's affidavit was harmless error. Concluding that this error may not be considered harmless in this case, we reverse the support award and remand for an evidentiary hearing on the amount of support to be awarded." Palewsky v. Dep't of Revenue o/b/o Miller

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