final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Indian River County; Robert L. Pegg, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Eduardo J. Mejias of AAA Family Law, LLC, Altamonte Springs,
Michael L. Cohen of Michael L. Cohen Law, West Palm Beach,
Joseph Castleman ("Husband") raises multiple issues
on appeal from the final judgment of dissolution of marriage
between the parties. Unless otherwise addressed in this
opinion, we affirm without comment. We find fundamental error
requiring reversal and remand with respect to the trial
court's (1) finding the relocation statute inapplicable
to appellee Jeann Bicaldo ("Wife") in the event she
is deported; (2) making a future-based projection of the
parties' minor child's best interests by granting
Wife permission to take their daughter with her if she is in
fact deported; and (3) awarding Wife durational alimony for a
period longer than the length of the marriage.
immigrated to the United States from the Philippines to marry
Husband. Because of the marriage, she obtained conditional
permanent resident status (a Green Card). But, twenty-six
months after the marriage, Husband filed for dissolution. At
one point, the parties stipulated to staying the case for up
to six months while they attempted to reconcile. Husband,
however, moved to resume the action two months later.
Ultimately, the trial court entered a final judgment of
dissolution, and in it awarded Wife durational alimony of
$2000 a month for three years.
trial court also ruled in its final judgment that in the
event Wife's application for citizenship is denied, she
would be permitted to take the child with her to the
Philippines. In making its ruling, the trial court did not
comply with the dictates of section 61.13001, Florida
Statutes (2017). It reasoned the section did not apply to
persons forced to relocate due to deportation.
failed to file the trial transcript, thus we review for
fundamental error apparent on the face of the judgment.
See P.S. v. Dep't of Children & Families, 68
So.3d 421, 421 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
Parental Relocation with a Child
trial court committed fundamental error when it found that
section 61.13001 (titled "Parental relocation with a
child") "applies only to persons wishing to
relocate voluntarily, not those who are forced to do so by
the government following a change in their marital
(7) of the statute states that "[a] presumption in favor
of or against a request to relocate with the child does
not arise if a parent or other person seeks to relocate
and the move will materially affect the current schedule of
contact, access, and time-sharing with the nonrelocating
parent or other person." § 61.13001(7), Fla. Stat.
(emphasis added). This subsection sets forth ten specific
criteria "the court shall evaluate" with respect to
child custody arrangements in the face of "a proposed
temporary or permanent relocation, " as well as a
catch-all "[a]ny other factor affecting the best
interest of the child or as set ...