Articles Tagged with Divorce

In Florida, pets are considered to be personal property.  In the event that a pet was owned by one of the parties prior to the marriage, that party will be entitled to keep the pet.  In the event that the pet was acquired by the parties during the course of the marriage, the pet will be distributed in accordance with Florida’s equitable distribution statute.

In Florida, trial courts will not award custody and visitation of family dogs and cats.  The Florida Court of Appeal stated that while some states do award custody and visitation of family pets, Florida does not do so.  The reason is that Florida courts are overwhelmed with child support cases and cases involving the custody and visitation of children.  They do not want to undertake supervision and enforcement issues involving pets.

In a recent case captioned Harby v. Harby, the Former Husband and the Former Wife were married in December 2001.  In November 2017, the Former Wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The Former Husband and Former Wife own two dogs.  Their names are Liberty and Nico. At the trial, the Former Wife testified that Liberty was an emotional support dog. The Former Wife also testified that she took care of Liberty and Nico from 2013 to 2017.  Between 2017 and the date of the trial, the Former Husband took care of both dogs.

Where parties jointly decide that one parent should stay at home to raise and care for their children, Florida courts give great deference to this decision and ordinarily do not impute income to the stay-at-home parent in awarding alimony.

In a case captioned Wilkins v. Wilkins, the Former Wife appealed the lower court’s order granting temporary relief to the Former Husband.  During the course of their relationship, the Former Husband and the Former Wife agreed that the Former Wife would live with her family and take care of the parties’ minor child and a child from the Former Wife’s previous relationship while she was completing her nursing degree.

The trial court found that the Former Wife took only one nursing course during the time that she lived with her family, and imputed income to the Former Wife for purposes of calculating child support.  The trial court ordered the Former Wife to pay child support to her Former Husband, who was on active military duty.

A divorce decree from a foreign country will be enforced by a Florida Court when: (i) the parties were given sufficient notice and an opportunity to be heard at the divorce hearing, (ii) the foreign court had jurisdiction, and (iii) the divorce decree does not offend the public policy of the State of Florida.  The law of a foreign country will not be applied when the law is unjust or unreasonable, or it contravenes the strong public policy of the State of Florida.

In a divorce case captioned, Armand v. Amisy, the Husband and Wife were married in Haiti in 2008.  In 2014 they moved to Massachusetts with their three children.  In 2016, they moved to Florida.  Husband filed for divorce in Florida in September of 2017.  Wife filed an Answer and a Counter-Petition in Florida.  Husband then filed a Voluntary Dismissal in Florida and a Motion to Dismiss Wife’s Counter-Petition.  Husband alleged that Florida lacked subject matter jurisdiction.  Husband argued that he was a Haitian citizen and resided in Somalia, and that his Wife had returned to Massachusetts with their children prior to filing her Counter-Petition in Florida.

Prior to the hearing on Husband’s Motion to Dismiss, Husband filed a divorce decree from Haiti.  Husband stated that he initiated a dissolution proceeding in Haiti in 2014, and that a Final Judgment granting his divorce was entered in May of 2017.  In May of 2018, Husband filed a Second Motion to Dismiss for want of subject matter jurisdiction based on the fact that the parties were already divorced in Haiti.