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Termination Of Alimony Because Of Supportive Relationship

January 7, 2016 by  
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Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 61.14(b)(1) a court may reduce or terminate an award of alimony upon specific written findings by the court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. The burden is on the obligor to seek the modification and prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists.

In Pollack v. Pollack, the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida confirmed that a termination of alimony on such grounds should be retroactive to the time of filing a petition for modification rather than the beginning of the supportive relationship itself.  So delaying in the filing a petition for modification can cost you the alimony payments owed between the time of the beginning of the supportive relationship and the time of actual filing of the petition for modification.  A party seeking the modification on such grounds will want just enough time to pass to be able to obtain and present clear evidence of the supportive relationship to the court.

If you need to talk to one of our lawyers about the modification of alimony, please call our office to schedule a consultation.

 

Appellate Court Reverses Modification Of Time-Sharing Where There Was No Competent Material Evidence Of A Substantial Change In Circumstances or Harm to Child

November 17, 2015 by  
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In George v. Lull, the Fourth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed a modification of time-sharing in favor of the father because there was no competent material evidence of record to show a substantial change in circumstances and to support the modification of time-sharing. 

The time-sharing schedule that the father sought to modify provided for the parties to have alternating week days and weekends and provisions were made to accommodate the parents work travel  schedules.  The father ultimately sought the child having alternating two week blocks of time with each parent.

The mother initiated the post judgment litigation by filing for relocation claiming that she had lost her employment and wanted to move to a location which had more employment opportunities for someone with her experience and skills.  In response, the father sought modification of the time-sharing schedule claiming that there had been a substantial change in circumstances based upon his now being able to work from home and because the child would greatly benefit from more time with the father. 

At the final hearing, the trial court found that there had been a substantial change in circumstances based on the change in the father’s work schedule, because the minor child was older and needed to spend more time with the father, and because the child was likely to be stressed by the present time-sharing arrangements. 

The Fourth District Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court’s modification of time-sharing in favor of the father.  The appellate Court’s opinion makes no reference as to what happened in relation to the mother’s relocation request.  The Court reasoned that the father still had the same employment that he had at the time of the marital settlement agreement and that while he had testified that he would be able to work from home “if necessary” and be more flexible with his work travel dates and times his testimony did not rise to the level of competent evidence necessary to establish a substantial change in circumstances.  The Court also reasoned that there was no competent evidence sufficient to support a finding that the child was stressed by the present time-sharing arrangement.

While stating that while there may be instances when a change in work schedule would constitute a substantial change in circumstances the appellate Court determine that in this case the evidence did not support such a finding.

If you want a consultation with one of our attorneys or lawyers to discuss the modification of a time-sharing schedule and what kind of evidence needs to be presented to the court for a modification to be ordered by a trial court and/or upheld on appeal please call us on (786)539-4935.

 

 

Modification Of Time-Sharing Improper Where Father Had Filed A Motion For Contempt

November 10, 2015 by  
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In Cockrell v. Kinnett, the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida ruled that the trial court should not have modified time-sharing based upon the motion for contempt before it.  The father had filed a motion for contempt alleging that the mother had denied him time-sharing on three separate occasions.  While the father requested a change in time-sharing in the body of the motion he did not include it in the prayer for relief.  The father had not filed a petition for modification of time-sharing as called for by the parties prior agreement and the applicable law.  He had not alleged that there had been a substantial change in circumstances or that a modification of time-sharing would be in the child’s best interests.  Accordingly, the Fifth District Court of Appeals held that the trial court should not have modified time-sharing.

If you are involved in a paternity case, divorce case, or seeking a modification of a judgment just having good facts on your side may not be enough.  It is important that you file the correct paperwork and present the correct and best evidence to the court to support your position at the trial and appellate levels.  If you don’t the trial court or appellate court may have to rule against you. 

If you want a consultation with one of our attorneys or lawyers to discuss a paternity case, divorce, modification, or the appeal of a final judgment please call us on (786)539-4935.

Modification Of Child Support And Contempt For Non-payment Of Child Support

October 13, 2015 by  
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Where there has been a substantial change in circumstances because of a change in the parties incomes or because of a change in court ordered time-sharing a party can petition the court for a modification of child support.  Where a petition for modification of child support is filed a modification of child support can be retroactive to the date of filing.

Where a parent has failed to pay child support the other parent can seek to have the parent who should have paid found in contempt of court for non-payment of child support.

In the case of Rosenblum v. Rosenblum, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that since a petition for modification of child support was pending before the trial court and it predated the motion for contempt for non-payment of child support the trial court was required to hear the petition for modification first or at the same time as the motion for contempt and had committed reversible error in hearing the motion for contempt before the modification action.  The Court of Appeals reasoned that the amount that should have been paid was not certain until the petition for modification had been heard so it was error to find the parent who had not paid in contempt until the amount owed had been determined.

If you need to talk to a lawyer or attorney about a modification of child support or enforcement of a child support obligation please  contact us at (786)539-4935 to schedule a consultation.

There Needs To Be A Substantial Change In Circumstances For A Petition For Modification Of Time-Sharing To Be Granted

August 28, 2015 by  
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In Blevins v. Blevins, the 5th District Court of Appeals held that because substantial competent evidence of substantial change in circumstances was not presented the trial court abused its discretion by granting former wife’s modification petition.

The Former Wife had sought modification based on the distance between her residence and the child’s school.   The Court ruled that the distance between the Former Wife’s residence and a child’s school was not a basis for modification of time-sharing where the location of parties’ residences was known at the time of the final judgment, when the trial court selected the former husband’s residence as a child’s legal address and address for school designation purposes.  Absent a substantial change in circumstances the trial court should not have granted a petition for modification of time-sharing.

If you want to modify time-sharing after a judgement has been entered it is important to present the right evidence to the court for it to rule in your favor and for its decision to be upheld based upon the best interests of the child and there having been a substantial change in circumstances.

If you need to talk to a lawyer or attorney about a modification of time-sharing please contact our office to arrange a consultation on (786)539-4935

A Trial Court May Not Adopt Or Ratify the Report And Recommendations Of A General Magistrate If The Magistrate Does Not File A Complete Record of the Evidence Before Them

August 18, 2015 by  
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Often times child support issues are referred by a circuit court judge to a hearing officer/general magistrate for determination.  Pursuant Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.490 a “magistrate” is responsible for ensuring that there is a full and complete record of a hearing before them.  

In the case of Garcia v. Garcia the Former Husband sought a downward modification of child support.  The evidence he presented included his own testimony and that of an accountant.  The Hearing Officer/General Magistrate ruled against the former husband stating that he had made a material and fraudulent omission in a financial affidavit and had not met his burden of showing a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a downward modification of child support.

The Former Husband took exceptions to the report and recommendations of the General Magistrate/Hearing Officer.  It was then discovered that the record from the hearings before the  General Magistrate/Hearing Officer was incomplete as it did not contain the testimony of the Former Husband or his accountant.  Regardless, the Circuit Court Judge denied the Exceptions to the Report and Recommendations of the Hearing Officer/General Magistrate and adopted the report.

The Third District Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court Judge’s denial of the exceptions and adoption of the Hearing Officer/General Magistrate’s report on the basis that the record was incomplete and remanded the case for further proceedings and a new hearing on the Former Husband’s Petition for a downward modification of child support.

It is important for a party seeking a modification of child support to present the right evidence to the court in support of the modification before a general magistrate/hearing officer.  It is also important to know the rules as to the exceptions and appeals process should the a trial court make the wrong decision based on the evidence and record before it.  

If you need to talk to a lawyer or attorney about a modification of child support, proceedings before a general magistrate or hearing officer, exceptions or an appeal you are welcome to contact our office to arrange a consultation on (786)539-4935

Disclaimer: The Law Offices of Robert Hanreck, P.A. is based in Miami , Florida and serves clients throughout the State including Miami-Dade and Broward counties. We are licensed to practice law in the State of Florida. This website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal advice, or solicit clients outside of the State of Florida.