The Palm Beach County Bar Association published an article written by Nugent Zborowski & Bruce partner Christopher R. Bruce in the February 2013 edition of the in Bar Bulletin. The article addresses the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal’s recent decision in the case of Hoff v. Hoff. Click Christopher R. Bruce’s Temporary Relief Article to view the article.
Hoff has the potential to be a significant decision in the area of temporary attorney’s fees. Divorce lawyers may be able to rely on Hoff to argue a spouse is not entitled to temporary attorney’s fees regardless of comparative ability to pay when the spouse (1) has enough assets in their possession to pay their outstanding legal fees and (2) the amount of fees requested for future litigation is unreasonable. That said, practitioners should be cautioned that a family law judge has extremely broad discretion when it comes to temporary fee awards and a different result may well survive interlocutory appellate scrutiny under similar facts.
Additionally, Hoff reiterates longstanding jurisprudence that temporary timesharing orders will survive appellate review as long as there is not an abuse of discretion. A failure to make factual findings concerning the best interest of a child in a temporary order does not, in and of itself, constitute reversible error.