June 1, 2012

Bresky Law Obtains Ruling Dispensing With Evidentiary Hearing Upon Remand Following Appellate Win

Bell v. Bell, 502007DR002692XXXXSB
Case No. 4D10-5122

This was a divorce case with several contested issues regarding the parties’ marital and non-marital assets. Our client, the former wife, appealed the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. The former husband cross-appealed. Our client’s main issues were (1) the trial court’s failure to award her half of the husband’s accounts receivable from loans he made to his businesses; and (2) the trial court’s failure to make factual findings before denying her request for bridge-the-gap alimony.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal (“Fourth DCA”) agreed with our position that the trial court had erred in failing to award our client half of the husband’s accounts receivable. The Fourth DCA reversed and remanded. On remand to the trial court, the former husband took the position that the issue required an evidentiary hearing to determine the new equitable distribution of the asset. We opposed the need for an evidentiary hearing, arguing that no evidentiary hearing was necessary because the Fourth DCA clearly stated in its written opinion that the value of the omitted account receivable was $660,611 based on undisputed testimony from the trial.

The trial court agreed and entered an order denying the former husband’s demand for an evidentiary hearing. The trial court received proposed Final Judgments from the parties. This preserved the positive result we achieved in the appellate court for our client and saved her the additional attorney’s fees associated with a lengthy evidentiary hearing in the trial court after remand.