January 18, 2017
Our firm recently obtained the reversal and remand of a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage for clarification of an inconsistency between the Final Judgment and the Parenting Plan.
We represented the former wife in an appeal of a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. An issue of contention between the parties at trial was the former wife’s request to be allowed to travel with the children on vacation to the foreign country of the parties’ origin. The former husband objected to the former wife’s request on the grounds that the foreign country in question was too dangerous. The trial court ruled in the Final Judgment that the minor children were not allowed to travel to the country in question without the express written consent of both parties or a court order. However, the Parenting Plan attached to the Final Judgment unambiguously prohibited any travel by the children to that country, with no provision to allow for such travel as was included in the Final Judgment.
On appeal, we pointed out the inconsistency between the Final Judgment and the Parenting Plan. We stressed that travel by the children to the country of the parties’ birth, under the appropriate circumstances, was important to the former wife. We asked the appellate court to reverse and remand for the trial court to clarify the inconsistency.
The appellate court issued an opinion in our client’s favor on the issue of the need for a consistent statement on travel by the children. The appellate court cited Justice v. Justice, 80 So. 3d 405 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) and Pope v. Langowski, 115 So. 3d 1076 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013) (remanding for clarification where the parenting plan was inconsistent). The appellate court reversed and remanded for the trial court to clarify the inconsistency. The appellate court also granted our client’s request for entitlement to appellate attorney’s fees. This favorable result allows the trial court to clarify an issue of importance to our client and allows her to seek an award of her appellate attorney’s fees from the trial court.