final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Krista Marx, Judge; L.T. Case No.
L. Augen Rhodes of The Law Offices of Tami L. Augen, P.A.,
West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Tiffany Lyons, Boynton Beach, pro se.
appeal from a final judgment of dissolution of marriage,
appellant Anthony Henry ("the husband") raises
multiple issues. We find two of the arguments related to
equitable distribution have merit. We otherwise affirm.
we address the trial court's inclusion of a motorcycle in
its equitable distribution scheme. The husband claimed the
motorcycle had been stolen, but counsel for the appellee
("the wife") argued it should be included in the
equitable distribution scheme and assigned its value at the
time of filing, which counsel asserted was about $7, 999.
During the evidentiary portion of the hearing, the parties
did not present any evidence regarding the value of the
motorcycle. The trial court, apparently rejecting the
testimony that the motorcycle had been stolen, included it in
equitable distribution and assigned it a value of $7, 999.
trial court did not err in rejecting the husband's claim
that the motorcycle was stolen. See Maurer v. State,
668 So.2d 1077, 1079 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996) (recognizing that a
judge sitting as a fact-finder may reject a witness's
uncontradicted testimony). Nevertheless, the court erred in
assigning a value to an asset in the absence of any
supporting evidence. See Young v. Young, 816 So.2d
799, 800 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002) (finding that court's
adoption of a valuation supported only by argument of counsel
could not be upheld). As to this equitable distribution
issue, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. The
trial court may take additional evidence on the value of the
motorcycle and shall revisit the equitable distribution
scheme if necessary.
now to the provisions of the final judgment related to the
marital home. The wife was awarded the marital home, and the
husband was required to "execute and return to Wife a
quit claim deed within three (3) days of presentment."
The final judgment provided for the wife to make an
equalizing payment to the husband of $25, 162.25 within
ninety days of the date of the judgment. The husband argues
that these provisions deprive him of his interest in the
husband relies on Thomas-Nance v. Nance, 189 So.3d
1040 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016). There, the trial court awarded the
marital home to the husband and required him to pay the wife
$100 a month until he had paid off the wife's $25, 000
interest in the home, but required the wife to quitclaim the
home to the husband within thirty days of the judgment.
Id. at 1041-42. On appeal, the court found this was
error, reasoning that the award "effectively deprives
the Wife of her present interest in the marital home, "
and that the error was compounded by requiring the wife to
quitclaim the property to her husband within thirty days of
judgment. Id. at 1042. The Second District
characterized the twenty-year payment plan as "patently
the wife was ordered to pay the husband his equalizing
payment in full within ninety days of judgment. This payoff
scheme is not comparable to the one in Thomas-Nance
- the payment plan is not so attenuated that it effectively
deprives the husband of his interest in the property. On its
face, it is not "patently unreasonable." However,
to the extent the wife is not in a financial position to make
the equalizing payment within ninety days of the judgment,
the husband would in fact be deprived of his interest in the
property if he had to quitclaim the marital home.
the wife testified that she would obtain equalizing payment
funds from a home equity loan if necessary, she offered this
testimony before she knew that the trial court would fix the
equalizing payment at $25, 000. Aside from this testimony,
there was no evidence making it apparent that the wife was in
a financial position to make the equalizing payment within
ninety days of entry of the judgment or that her ability to
obtain a home equity loan was likely. The trial court
seemingly recognized these issues because in response to the
husband's post-judgment motion, the court required the
husband to provide a quitclaim deed to the wife's
counsel, who would deliver it to the wife after the
wife made the equalizing payment. The order, however, did not
make it clear whether this arrangement would stay in place if
this court were to affirm the final judgment.
wife seems to believe these requirements will stay in place,
as she relies on the post-judgment order in characterizing
this issue as moot. Based on the lack of evidence of the
wife's ability to make the equalizing payment, and the
wife's apparent lack of objection to the imposition of
requirements on delivery of the deed, we remand for the trial
court to amend the final judgment to impose any conditions on
execution and delivery of the deed that will ensure the
husband is not deprived of his interest in the marital home.
we affirm the final judgment in part, but reverse and remand
for further proceedings and amendment of the final judgment