Final judgment; rehearing; motions related to judgment

AuthorAnnette J. Szorosy/Stephanie Matalon
ProfessionGeneral Magistrate/General Magistrate
Pages1449-1548
FINAL JUDGMENT;
REHEARING; MOTIONS
20-1
CHAPTER 20
Final Judgment; Rehearing;
Motions Related to Judgment
QUICK VIEW
The modern trend is that the family court judge drafts the f‌inal judgment, rather than delegating this respon-
sibility. There is a rational basis for this process and procedure. The family court judiciary is the trier of fact
and of law. The factf‌inder’s impressions, observations, evaluations of bearing, demeanor, motive, intent, and
especially credibility, affect the entire decision making process in family law, more than in other areas of the
law. The family court judge has more discretion in his or her decision-making in family law, than in other areas
of the law. For the f‌inal judgment to properly ref‌lect the judge’s ruling, the family court judge may primarily
prepare the f‌inal judgment with the assistance of the lawyers.
It is the family lawyer’s responsibility to provide the competent and substantial evidence for the family court
judge to rule. Following the statutes and case law and providing proposed f‌indings in substantive areas are
imperative. This chapter details practice and procedure, and form and substance of f‌inal judgments, building
to a f‌inal judgment that properly addresses the concerns of appellate courts for f‌inality in a dissolution of
marriage action. The quality of the f‌inal judgment, in comprehensively and particularly addressing the issues,
directly inf‌luences the parties’ determination to live with the decisions they made.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. BASIC POINTS
§20:01 Overview
§20:02 Formal Requirements Generally
§20:03 Use Florida Family Law Forms
§20:04 Address All Issues
§20:05 Specif‌ic Reservation of Jurisdiction
§20:06 Enforcement Paragraph for Money Damages
§20:07 Vesting Title to Property
§20:08 Partition and Sale of Property
§20:09 Discretion of Court in Child-Related Matters
§20:10 Discretion of Court as to Alimony
§20:11 Death of a Party Prior to Final Judgment
§20:12 Stipulations
§20:13 Application of Foreign Law and Enforcement of a
Judgment or Order of a Court of a Foreign Country
§20:14 Alimony, Child Support and Attorneys’ Fee Proceedings Pending Appeal
FINAL JUDGMENT;
REHEARING; MOTIONS
Florida Family Law and Practice 20-2
II. BURDENS AND PRESUMPTIONS
A. Parenting Issues
§20:20 No Presumption Created by Temporary Parenting Plan Award
§20:21 Shared Parental Responsibility: Presumption in Best Interests of Child
§20:22 Legal Shared Parental Responsibility: Presumption of Joint Decision-Making
§20:23 Relocation: No Presumption But Shifting Burden of Proof
B. Property Issues and Equitable Distribution
§20:30 Equal Distribution Presumption
§20:31 Valuation Issues
§20:32 Parties’ Equal Burdens
§20:33 Presumption That Property Acquired After Marriage Is Marital Property
C. Alimony
§20:40 Need and Ability
§20:41 Length of Marriage and Presumptions
§20:42 Type, Purpose, Duration, Termination, and Consideration of Statutory Factors
§20:43 Not Enough to Go Around
§20:44 Current Circumstances to Be Considered
D. Child Support
§20:50 Presumptive Level of Child Support
§20:51 No Presumption Based on Temporary Agreement to Pay Child Support
§20:52 No Waiver by Parents
§20:53 Termination of Child Support
E. Attorneys’ Fees
§20:60 Burden of Proof
§20:61 Discretion of Court
§20:62 Evidence to Be Presented
§20:63 Standard of Review
§20:64 Reopening Case; Remand for Further Evidence
III. CONTENT OF JUDGMENT
A. Basic Provisions
§20:70 Preamble
§20:71 Jurisdiction
§20:72 Existence and Breakdown of Marriage
§20:73 Child Support
§20:74 Income Deduction Order
§20:75 Qualif‌ied Medical Child Support Order or National Medical Support Notice
§20:76 Concerns About Child Kidnapping
B. Findings
1. In General
§20:90 Requirement
§20:91 Fundamental Facts
2. Parenting Issues
§20:100 Credibility
§20:100.1 Parenting Plan Requirements and Supreme Court Approved Forms
§20:101 Shared Parental Responsibility and Parenting Plan
§20:102 Legal Shared Parental Responsibility
§20:103 Ultimate Responsibility
§20:104 Sole Parental Responsibility
§20:105 Physical Shared Parental Responsibility and Time-Sharing
§20:106 Rotating Custody
§20:107 Relocation
FINAL JUDGMENT;
REHEARING; MOTIONS
20-3 Final Judgment; Rehearing; Motions Related to Judgment
§20:108 Future Restrictions
§20:109 Residence Restriction
§20:110 Statutory Factors
§20:111 Parenting Coordination
§20:112 Domestic Violence Issues
§20:113 Parent in Jail
3. Equitable Distribution
§20:120 In General
§20:121 Supported by Evidence in Record
§20:122 Impact of Credibility
§20:123 Nonmarital Assets and Liabilities and Ownership Interests
§20:124 Marital Assets and Liabilities
§20:125 Identif‌ication
§20:126 Date for Determining Value; Different Dates for Different Assets
§20:127 Departure From Equal Distribution Requires Findings
§20:128 Marital Home and Equitable Lien
§20:129 Pension
§20:130 Military Benef‌its
§20:131 Marital Business
§20:132 De Minimis Assets and Expenses
§20:133 Interim Partial Equitable Distribution
4. Alimony
§20:140 In General
§20:141 Need and Ability and Actual Income of the Parties
§20:142 Type of Alimony
§20:143 Tax Treatment of Alimony
§20:144 Arrearages
§20:145 Life Insurance as Security
§20:146 Nominal Alimony
5. Child Support
§20:160 In General
§20:161 Child Support Guidelines Calculations
§20:162 Child Support Belongs to Child
§20:163 Deviation From Presumptive Guidelines
§20:164 Imputation of Income
§20:165 Health Insurance Coverage and Noncovered Expenses
§20:166 Private School
§20:167 Arrearages and Temporary Support Orders
§20:168 Retroactive Child Support
§20:169 Life Insurance as Security
§20:170 Child Support Payments Directed Through State Disbursement Unit
§20:171 Transportation Costs
§20:172 Child Support After Age 18
§20:173 Dependency Exemption
§20:174 Parent in Jail
6. Attorneys ’ Fees and Costs
§20:180 In General
§20:181 Need and Ability
§20:182 Amount
§20:183 Rejection of Settlement Offer
§20:184 Sanction Fees
§20:185 Costs

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