Sometimes, your divorce may have a substantial impact on your personal life but be limited to that. Other times, your divorce has the potential to impact both your personal life and your business life. A court order in your divorce case that freezes all your assets, for example, may have a significant and debilitating effect on your business activities, as well as impair your ability to meet your personal financial obligations. Avoiding such problems requires many steps, including mounting an aggressive defense to avoid outcomes like an injunction that freezes your assets. When you find yourself in such a divorce battle, it pays to have skilled South Florida divorce counsel on your side.
A recent Broward County case was an example of this. In the case, the wife, C.O., had obtained a divorce judgment that required the husband, W.O., to pay both alimony and child support. Sometime later, the wife obtained a judgment for certain unpaid amounts of alimony and child support. Following her obtaining that judgment, the wife went back to court and sought an injunction that would have frozen all of the husband’s assets, including his impending inheritance.
When your spouse seeks an injunction, such as one that would freeze all of your assets, the law requires her to provide the court with certain evidence before the court grants the request and issues the injunction. For one thing, the party who asked for the injunction has to demonstrate that she has a substantial likelihood of winning in the underlying litigation action. Additionally, she has to show that, if the court doesn’t grant her the injunction for which she’s asked, then she will suffer “irreparable” harm. Generally, any type of harm that can be fully and fairly compensated later through an award of money damages cannot constitute “irreparable” harm under the law.
So, what evidence did W.O.’s wife have to support her claim that the court should freeze the husband’s assets? According to the appeals court, nothing. The only thing offered to the trial judge was certain statements made to the court by the wife’s attorney. Based solely on those statements, the trial judge entered the injunction and froze the assets.
The appeals court reversed that injunction. “As we have said many times, the statements of an attorney are not evidence,” the appeals court’s opinion declared. Unsworn statements by attorneys cannot count as valid evidence upon which a court may make factual findings unless both sides stipulate to those facts. There was no such stipulation in this couple’s case, so there was no valid basis for finding the facts necessary to issue an injunction. As a result, the appeals court ordered that the case to go back to the trial court and the trial judge to vacate the temporary injunction.
For effective representation in your family law case, contact the diligent South Florida divorce attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman. Our experienced team has been helping clients protect their interests for many years.
Contact us online or by calling (954) 237-1777 to schedule your consultation and find out how this firm can help you.
More blog posts:
Florida Wife’s Alleged Misconduct Allowed Husband to Pursue Separate Divorce, Breach of Contract Actions, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Nov. 8, 2018
Dealing with High-Value Asset Items (and High Expenses) in Your Florida Divorce, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, June 2, 2017