Family Law Section Monthly Newsletter
Chair's Message

2017 is here! May this new year bring each and every one of us the best life has to offer. I look forward to seeing you all at the Mid-Year meetings and the 2017 Annual Marital & Family Law Review Course at the end of the month; please come!

Laura Davis Smith, Esquire
Chair, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar
Upcoming Events

January 26, 2017 - Section Committee Meetings.  Loews Pacific Resort, Orlando.   Info here.

January 27 - 28, 2017 - 2017 Marital & Family Law Review Course.   Info here.

January 28, 2017 - Executive Council Meeting.   Info here.

May 18 - 21, 2017 - In-State Retreat.  Islamorada, FL. Info here.

June 21, 2017 - Section Committee Meetings, Boca Raton Resort & Club

June 22, 2017 - Executive Council Meeting

July 20 - 23, 2017 - Trial Advocacy Workshop

September 6 - 10, 2017 - 2017 Out-of-State Retreat

Executive Committee Spotlight: Sarah Kay

Favorite quote? If you ask my 5 year old daughter, she'd say it was "Seriously!" (Apparently I say that more than I realized.)  Seriously, though, a saying that has always stuck with me was "In the end, the pessimist may be right, but the optimist has more fun on the trip."  I don't recall the author, but I'm fairly confident I read it in Reader's Digest during my teenage years.

Something we did not know about you?  I was an exchange student my senior year in high school to Ecuador through AFS intercultural programs.  I continue to actively volunteer with AFS, hoping to realize the mission of creating a more just and peaceful world through international and intercultural learning experiences.
Favorite Family Law Case?  The ones where it's clear that I've improved someone else's life.  A majority of the ones I cherish the most have been pro bono.  I received a Christmas card last week from a former pro bono client that included pictures of her and her baby daughter beaming with joy.  It brought tears to my eyes.
Favorite book and why? The Bible.  It's a constant source of inspiration and encouragement. 
Favorite TV show and why?  Battlestar Galatica - the 2004 remake.  It reminded me of Greek theater, with story lines and characters meant to challenge the audience.  I wrote my thesis paper for the Stetson honors program on an episode involving a charge of treason against one of the main characters (I argued in his defense).
Why you practice family law?  I enjoy helping people transition out of difficult times to brighter futures.
Favorite superhero? I remember rushing home in high school to watch re-runs of the Underdog TV series.  What impressed me was that his superpowers included being able to speak in rhyme the majority of the time.
Best place you have traveled to?  Swimming in a dormant volcano and standing simultaneously in the northern and southern hemispheres while in Ecuador were pretty cool. Being bit by the angry monkey in the Amazon jungle was not so cool. Attending the Christmas Eve mass at La Catedral de la Santa Maria de la Sede while living in Seville Spain also stands out.  Hearing the bells toll at midnight to announce Jesus' birth sent chills down my spine.
Proudest accomplishment within the section?  Participating in the publications committee has been a privilege and an honor, not to mention a lot of fun!  It is a team of talented professionals dedicated to producing high-quality publications to educate, inspire, and assist Section members.  A massive amount of work is involved in publishing The Florida Bar Journal, the Commentator, and FAMSEG.  If you are looking for an easy way to become involved in the Section, there are lots of opportunities - both big and small - in the publications committee.
Anything else....  If you are not currently active in the Section, you are missing out!   Not sure how to get involved? Ask anyone on Executive Council, we'd be happy to talk to you about it. You can find a list of Executive Council members at:

Section News:

Major Rewrite of Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) Passed Congress.

Save the Date:  2017 Out of State Retreat
Come join us at the C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colorado from September 6 through 10, 2017 for the Section's Fall Retreat! C Lazy U was recently awarded the 3rd best resort in Colorado and the 9th best resort in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, the third consecutive year the ranch has been ranked within the top 3 in Colorado and top 10 in the U.S. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year because the ranch is nestled at the foot of the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains. The leaves turn a vibrant gold, the air is crisp, and there is always plenty to do! In addition to the 8,500 acres, you can make arrangements for other fun activities in the area such as golfing, hot air ballooning, and white water rafting. Watch for more information about the Retreat and please do not hesitate to contact the Co-Chairs of the event, Carin Porras  or Amy Hamlin with any questions.

Squib of the mon

Voorhees v. Voorhees,  41 Fla. L. Weekly D2452 (Fla. 4th  DCA 2016).  Order eliminating parent's timesharing and not providing specific steps for reunification affirmed as Court reserved jurisdiction to modify.  Even though this conflicts with other opinions, no conflict certified.  Fact specific.
Family Law Section Sponsors

Platinum Level:

Gold Level:
Call for Articles

The Family Law Section WANTS YOU to write for one of its three publications: The Florida Bar Journal, The Family Law Commentator, and/or FAMSEG.

The Journal: To be considered for publication in The Florida Bar Journal, the a rticle should be scholarly and relate in some manner to family law. It should be twelve to fifteen pages in length, complete with end notes. For more information contact C. Debra Welch or Belinda Lazzara.

The Commentator: The Family Law Sections Glossy Quarterly magazine. Art icles could range from substantive articles to advice about lifestyle and wellness. For more information contact Tenesia Hall or Heather Apicella.

FAMSEG: Got an announcement? Pictures of a section event? Something light and fluffy? FAMSEG is your place! You might have noticed something different in this edition of FAMSEG. So if you have any of the above, or suggestions to improve the look and feel of FAMSEG, contact Eddie Stephens.

We are also having a contest to rename "FAMSEG".  Got a suggestion?  Email us!

Advertise in FAMSEG!
For information: Contact Gabrielle Tollok at