Child Custody and Visitation in Jupiter, Florida

In awarding child custody and visitation, the court order must make a finding of fact as to the best interest of the children. In Julia v. Julia, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: “Appellant Martha Julia (“the Wife”) appeals the final judgment of support and the final judgment of dissolution of marriage related to her second marriage to Appellee Juan Carlos Julia (“the Husband”). The Wife argues that the trial court’s judgments must be reversed in light of violations of her right to due process. We agree. Furthermore, we find six additional shortcomings with respect to the trial court’s decisions that must be addressed on remand. Accordingly, we reverse the final judgments for reasons stated below and remand for further proceedings…First, in awarding the four children exclusive use and possession of the marital home, with the parents rotating in at two week intervals, the trial court’s decision made no mention of “the best interests of the children” with respect to this ruling. This is a required factor for the court to consider when determining parental responsibility and distribution of assets. See §§ 61.075(1)(h), 61.13(2)(c), Fla. Stat. (2013). 

Second, we find that the trial court failed to make required findings of fact regarding equitable distribution. In particular, the court’s decision did not include “specific written findings of fact” as to the individual valuation of significant marital assets. See § 61.075(3)(b), Fla. Stat. (2013); Lift v. Lift, 1 So. 3d 259,260 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (noting the failure to include “specific written findings of fact that identify, classify, value, and distribute the parties’ assets and liabilities” in a trial court order regarding equitable distribution “precludes meaningful appellate review”) (quoting and citing Pavese v. Pavese, 932 So. 2d 1269, 1270 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)).”

To speak with a divorce attorney in Jupiter, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

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