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Divorce Archives

Divorce in Jupiter, Florida

In a divorce case, captioned Brooks v. Brooks, the Father appealed the lower court's ruling denying his motion for contempt and ordered him to file a petition to relocate. The Florida Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling and explained why. A time-sharing plan was entered by the Court when the parties were divorced in 2011. Under the time-sharing plan, the Mother and Father had shared parental responsibility over the children. The children lived with the Mother during the week and with the Father every other weekend. The time-sharing plan required that if either party traveled out of state with the children, that party must so inform the other party 30 days in advance and provide a travel itinerary. After the divorce, the Father moved from Sarasota to Hallandale Beach. The Mother took two out-of-state trips with the children and did not provide the Father with notice of one of the trips or a detailed itinerary. The Father moved to hold the Mother in contempt of court, and the Mother moved to hold the Father in contempt for moving to Hallandale Beach without filing a petition to relocate. After a hearing on both motions, the lower court denied both motions for contempt and ordered the Father to file a petition to relocate. The Father argued to the Florida Court of Appeal that it was improper for the trial court to deny his motion for contempt after he clearly established that the Mother violated the time-sharing plan.

Divorce In North Palm Beach, Florida

In a divorce action, in determining venue, the trial court is to look to the single county where the intact marriage was last evidenced by a continuing union of partners who intended to stay and to remain married indefinitely if not permanently. In McGee v. McGee the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Venue transfer orders are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Mgmt. Computer Controls, Inc. v. Charles Perry Constr., Inc., 743 So. 2d627 (Fla. lst DCA 1999). We begin by noting that venue is proper where the defendant is domiciled, where the cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation is located. § 47.011, Fla. Stat. (2013). "In a dissolution of marriage action, the trial court is to look to the single county where 'the intact marriage was last evidenced by a continuing union of partners who intended to remain and to remain married, indefinitely if not permanently.' " Crawford v. Crawford, 415 So. 2d 870,870 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982) (citing Carroll v. Carroll, 341 So. 2d 771,722 (Fla. 1977)). But a court may transfer any civil action "to any other court of record in which it might have been brought" for the convenience of the parties or witnesses or the interest of justice. § 47.122, Fla. Stat. (emphasis added). See also § 61.13(2)(d), Fla. Stat. (providing that in modification proceedings "[t]he court may change the venue in accordance with s. 47.122.")...

Divorce in North Palm Beach, Florida

In a divorce proceeding, due process requires that the parties be given sufficient time to call witnesses and to be heard. In Julia v. Julia, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Due process requires that a party be given the opportunity to be heard and to testify and call witnesses on the party's behalf... and the denial of this right is fundamental error." Minakan v. Husted, 27 So. 3d 695,698 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (quoting Pettry v. Pettry, 706 So. 2d 107,108 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998)). The opportunity to be heard must be "full and fair, not merely colorable or illusive." Pelle v. Diners Club, 287 So. 2d 737,738 (Fla. 3d DCA 1974) Additionally, this Court has recognized that justice cannot be "administered arbitrarily with a stopwatch," yet that is what happened in the instant case. See Woodham v. Roy, 471 So. 2d 132, 134 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985). Throughout the hearing, the trial court made it clear that it intended to complete the trial in one day without going much beyond 5:00p.m. Although this goal is not inherently violative of due process, summarily shortening proceedings can give rise to a due process violation when they fail to afford a party a full, fair, and meaningful opportunity to be heard, such as in this case where the Wife was severely restricted in time to examine witnesses, to call any of her own witnesses, or to make any argument as to the evidence presented... 

Divorce in Boynton Beach, Florida

In a divorce proceeding in which one of the parties seeks to set aside a marital settlement agreement, the trial court should either permit the contesting party to present argument and evidence concerning the adoption of the marital settlement agreement during the final hearing, or alternatively, the court should defer entering a final judgment until a hearing on the contesting party's motion to set aside the marital settlement agreement has been held. In Giddins v. Giddins, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Appellant, the former wife, challenges the trial court's final order of dissolution of marriage in which the court adopted and incorporated the parties' marital settlement agreement. Appellant argues the court erred in entering the final order over her objection and pending motion to set aside the marital settlement agreement, without first giving her the opportunity to be heard and present evidence. We agree. 

Divorce In North Palm Beach, FL; Child Support

In a divorce proceeding involving the nonpayment of child support, the initial judicial determination creates a rebuttable presumption that there is an ability to pay. In Fuller v. Fuller, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Jeffrey Fuller, the former husband, appeals an amended order on Nancy Dubay, the former wife's motion for civil contempt. We reverse that portion of the trial court's order finding him in contempt, but we affirm the remainder of the order without comment... 

North Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer; Child Support; Income Imputation

In a divorce proceeding, indefinite support from a parties' parents can be imputed to a parent. In Steele v. Love, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "§ 61.30(2)(a)(13), Florida Statutes (2012), specifically lists "[rjeimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses" as gross income to be considered in determining child support. Generally, gifts received from a party's parents are irrelevant for child support determination. Vorcheimer v. Vorcheimer, 780 So. 2d 1018, 1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (citing Shiveley v. Shiveley, 635 So. 2d 1021 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)). However, regular periodic payments to a child by a parent are considered income for child-support determination. Ordini v. Ordini, 701 So. 2d 663, 666 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (citing Cooper v. Kahn, 696 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)). Here, the former husband was unemployed but was starting a business that had not yielded any income. His parents paid for his living expenses for the nineteen months between the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage and the trial... 

Divorce in Boynton Beach

In a divorce proceeding, even where a default is granted, a court is required to hold a trial to determine the appropriate amount of alimony and the form of the distribution of assets, but the defaulting party may be prohibited from presenting evidence. In Ehman v. Ehman, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated:

Divorce in North Palm Beach, Florida - Bifurcation of Proceedings

In a divorce proceeding, if a trial court bifurcates the proceeding to dissolve the marriage but retains jurisdiction to determine property issues, the subsequent death of a party does not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction to determine the issues reserved. In Passamondi v. Passamondi, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Claudia Passamondi (the Former Wife) challenges the trial court's order dismissing her claims for the determination of property issues in a bifurcated dissolution of marriage proceeding. 

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