Welcome to our January edition of FAMSEG – our Happy New Year edition! And per Section tradition, that means we are gearing up for our Annual Family Law Review Course. We are already have over 1,800 registered attendees for this great event, which means that we are getting very close to selling out this event. Sign up ASAP if you still haven’t done so and wish to attend this year.
January also traditionally means that our Mid-Year Meetings will be taking place, as always, the day before the Review Course. Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 26, when our various Section Committees will be meeting throughout the day at the Gaylord Palms Conference Center in Orlando.
January is also the time for resolutions --- so why not resolve to become more active with our Statewide Family Law Section?? We always value the contributions and perspectives that are provided by new members from around the entire state.  Everyone’s voice is important; and everyone’s viewpoint is appreciated!  On behalf of all of our Committees, I want to personally invite you to join us and participate in our Section meetings on the 26.
Speaking of our appreciation of our members from around the entire state, we are once again heading to the Florida Panhandle on Friday, February 24, for a live, in-person CLE on financial issues! We have a great agenda on tap for those who may be saying, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” (See how I worked in the title of the CLE into my message?) The secondary title is “Litigating Financial Issues in Family Law Cases,” and the event will provide a nice balance following the last Panhandle CLE in February 2020 on timesharing issues. More information can be found in this edition below and also on our Section’s website (
I wish everyone a successful 2023 and I look forward to seeing everyone at an upcoming Section event!

Philip S. Wartenberg
Chair, 2022-2023
Our Mid-Year Meetings and the Board Certification Review Course are right around the corner, so we wanted to share the schedule with those who will be attending:

  • Wed. January 25: “Cert Tips & Nibbles” for Registered Test Takers, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thurs. January 26: Family Law Section Committee Meetings, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 27: 2023 Marital & Family Law Review Course, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 28: Review Course (cont’d), 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 28: Family Law Section Executive Council Mid-Year Meeting (mandatory for Executive Committee members), 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 19 at 12PM
'Tips on Navigating the Marital & Family Law Board Certification Course,' presented by this year's Chairperson, Kristin Kirkner, Esq..

Just in time for Cert Review, join Kristin and host Amber Kornreich for this free Family Law Live presentation on insider tips and what to expect at this year's Course!

Mark you calendars then join the conversation HERE.
Show Me The Money! Litigating Financial
in Family Law Cases
This course will provide an overview of how to litigate financial issues in your family law cases. Topics include, alimony, child support, attorneys fees, equitable distribution, evidence, contempt/enforcement, professionalism/ethics and military issues. Presenters include local attorney’s and members of the Judiciary. 8 CLE Credits.

This Live CLE will take place as the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL. Click HERE for additional info!

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Welcome Remarks
Jamie Epstein, Esq.
William Norvell, Esq.

9:05 AM – 9:50 AM
Military Issues
Kristin Kirkner, Esq.

9:50 AM – 10:35 AM
Child Support
Magistrate Keith A. McIver

10:35 AM – 11:25 AM
Judge David Oberliesen
Anthony Bisordi, Esq.

11:25 AM – 12:10 PM
Equitable Distribution
Travis Johnson, Esq.

12:10 PM – 1:10 PM

1:10 PM – 1:55 PM
Preparing Your Financial Expert for Trial
Anthony S. Phillips, C.P.A.

1:55 PM – 2:35 PM
Judge Stephen A. Pitre

2:35 PM – 3:10 PM
Attorney’s Fees
Autumn Beck Blackledge, Esq.

3:10 PM – 3:20 PM

3:20 PM – 4:00 PM
Contempt and Enforcement
Judge Gary L. Bergosh

4:00 PM – 4:55 PM
Professionalism and Ethics: A View From the Bench
Judge Gary L. Bergosh
Judge Stephen A. Pitre
Judge David Oberliesen
Retired Judge Ross Goodman
Annual Out-of-State Retreat is March 22-26, 2023
Bookmark this page for the latest updates on our upcoming Annual Out-of-State Retreat taking place in Austin, Texas from March 22-26! Our Co-Chairs Aimee Gross and Cash Eaton will be sharing more info soon!

For sponsorship info, click HERE.

Hotel and other info HERE.
By: Steven Spann, Esq. 

Guimbellot v. Guimbellot, 1D20-2444, December 22, 2022 – Alimony (Permanent and Retro), Equitable Distribution, & Attorney’s Fees and Costs
The First DCA reversed a final judgment of divorce relating to alimony, equitable distribution, and attorney’s fees and costs.
Alimony: With regard to the award of permanent alimony, the First DCA held that the trial court failed to make sufficient findings regarding the husband’s ability to pay and that no other form of alimony was “fair and reasonable.” The trial court also failed to make clear how it resolved the conflicting testimony on the wife’s monthly expenses.
Equitable Distribution: The trial court erred by failing to account for the liabilities when valuing the husband’s business.
Attorney’s Fees: Although the parties stipulated to “certain hourly rates and total amount of fees,” the Second DCA reversed the award because the trial court failed to make specific findings for “the hourly rate, the number of hours reasonably expended, and any appropriate reduction or enhancement factors.” The First DCA also noted that the award itself should be reconsidered in light of the recalculation of the equitable distribution award, noting that “if equitable distribution places the parties in substantially similar financial positions, it is an abuse of discretion to award attorney’s fees to one party.”
Retro Alimony: Finally, relying on the concurrence of a prior opinion (Iarussi v. Iarussi, 2022 WL 6890716, at *6-7 (Fla. 1st DCA Oct. 12, 2022) (Long, J., concurring)), the First DCA reversed the award of retroactive alimony, finding that same is “‘a creation of the courts’ prohibited by the separation of powers set forth in article II, section 3 of the Florida Constitution.” J. Makar authored the dissent, noting that retroactive alimony has been standard practice for nearly 40 years and that it is “simply a nunc pro tunc award (‘now for then’) of the type recognized in American and English courts for centuries.” He argues that nullification of retroactive alimony would cause substantial disruption in family law and create conflict with every other appellate district.
As many of you are aware, The Family Law Section has been intimately involved in helping craft legislation for Greyson's Bill. We're so pleased to share that Senator Lori Berman and Representative Hillary Cassel have now introduced this legislation in their respective chambers.

We wanted to share two recent articles about this important legislation:

"We applaud Senator Berman for her tireless effort and hard work on Greyson's Law, and thank Rep. Cassel for sponsoring this legislation in the House. We believe, in its current form, this proposed legislation will assist in providing for better protection and safety for Florida's families and children."
- Philip S. Wartenberg, Magistrate of the 13th Circuit and Chair of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar
Special Needs Committee Now Permanent
In June, the Family Law Section, through the vision of Philip Schipani (pictured here), made the “ad hoc” Special Needs Children Committee a permanent committee. In response to that accomplishment, the new Special Needs Children Committee drafted and approved a mission statement. The new statement is:

The Special Needs Children Committee exists to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and/or special needs are promoted, met, improved, and respected by family law practitioners and the judiciary by reviewing, drafting, and proposing updates to legislation, rules of procedure, and forms--in addition to educating and promoting awareness for the unique needs and rights of children with disabilities and/or special needs.

The statement’s call to action embodies the importance of addressing disparities families with disabled/special needs children face while involved in family court. With the establishment of a permanent committee, the Family Law Section is poised to identify and address issues facing caregivers and special needs children as well as support Florida families, lawyers and judges with resources and education. We all have Philip Schipani to thank.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Chaired by: Temi Zeitenberg, Esq.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee is comprised of both lawyers, lawyers who mediate, and non-lawyers across the state with vast backgrounds of experience. The Committee is working on ways to provide access for low-income families to obtain mediation services with Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediators, separate and apart from the court’s in house mediation office. In addition, the Committee is surveying circuits across the state by obtaining administrative orders related to the practice of collaborative law in order to develop a statewide protocol.

SPONSORS WANTED! If your business would like to reach nearly 4,000 Family Law professionals through our various communications platforms and in-person and virtual events, we invite you to consider Section sponsorship. To learn more about benefits and levels, email or click HERE to learn more.
WRITERS WANTED! Want to submit an article for our monthly FAMSEG e-news, or our quarterly magazine, The Commentator? We can always use Tech Tips, Case Law Updates, and other relevant news for our 4,000+ members. Just email for more information. Thank you for your interest in contributing to our member publications!