Below are summaries of recent decisions from Florida's appellate courts on Florida divorce and family law issues. Clicking on the case name allows you to view the appellate opinion described in the analysis below. These summaries are courtesy of Bruce Law Firm, P.A., a law firm limited to representation of clients in the mediation, litigation and appeals of Florida marital and family law matters. The firm also created and maintains the family law focused appellate resources website DivorceCourtAppeals.com.
Case: Bisel v. Bisel
Court: Fourth District Court of Appeal.
Trial Judge: Laura M. Watson.
Attorneys: Kim L. Picazio.
Issues: Procedure, Child Support.
Holding: Florida law clearly holds that a trial court lacks jurisdiction to hear and to determine matters which are not the subject of proper pleading and notice. To allow a court to rule on a matter without proper pleadings and notice violates a party’s due process rights. In this case, the trial court erred in that the notice of hearing had several problems, the first of which is that the description failed to notify Former Wife that the trial court would consider and rule upon her supplemental petition for upward modification of child support. Secondly, the Former Wife did not receive timely notice of the hearing as it related to her supplemental petition. Finally, pursuant to Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, the trial court (not the Former Husband) was required to enter an order setting the action for trial. The appeals court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
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Matthew S. Nugent, Adam M. Zborowski & Christopher R. Bruce limit their practice to resolution of marital and family law matters in Florida's trial and appellate courts. The firm handles divorce litigation in South Florida and accepts referrals for appellate representation in all of Florida’s appellate courts. The firm pays referral fees in accordance with Florida Bar Rules for appellate matters, which are handled primarily on a fixed fee basis with a limited money back promise if the brief is not filed within 45 days of the firm receiving the transcript and record on appeal.