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Kvinta v. Kvinta

Florida Court of Appeals, Fifth District

June 28, 2019

CHARLES J. KVINTA AND MARY G. KVINTA, Appellants/Cross-Appellees,
v.
ANITA J. KVINTA, DELOITTE & TOUCHE, LLP. AND CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC., Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Brevard County, Jennifer Opel Taylor, Judge.

          John N. Bogdanoff and Earle W. Peterson, of The Carlyle Appellate Law Firm, Orlando, for Appellants/Cross-Appellees.

          James R. Dressler and Donna Dressler, Merritt Island, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant Anita Kvinta.

          No Appearance for other Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

          EDWARDS, J.

         Charles J. Kvinta ("Former Husband") and third-party respondent, Mary G. Kvinta ("Current Wife"), appeal the amended final judgment entered by the trial court on Anita Kvinta's ("Former Wife") petition that sought equitable distribution of marital assets, spousal support, costs, and legal fees. Former Wife cross-appeals. We will review the relevant facts as we discuss the issues raised on appeal to explain why we affirm in part and reverse in part.

         BACKGROUND FACTS AND PRIOR OUT-OF-STATE LITIGATION

         Former Wife and Former Husband first married in Ohio in 1966 and divorced thirteen years later, but resumed living together in Kansas in the early 1980s under circumstances that led to their common law marriage status. In 1992, the parties separated once more: Former Wife returned to Ohio and Former Husband moved overseas. In 1995, Former Wife filed for legal separation in Ohio, but that suit was ultimately dismissed because she was unable to perfect service of process on Former Husband. Former Wife filed another suit in Ohio seeking a separation and distribution of certain assets, proceeding via in rem jurisdiction based upon the presence in Ohio of assets allegedly belonging to Former Husband or both parties. The Ohio trial court granted legal separation and awarded Former Wife the parties' Ohio home, and this ruling was affirmed on appeal in Ohio in 2003.

         On December 8, 2004, Former Wife filed for divorce in Ohio, naming Former Husband and Current Wife as defendants. In 2008, the Ohio trial court entered its final judgment divorcing Former Wife and Former Husband. As part of the Ohio court's judgment in that case, Former Wife received $351, 585, which was half the value of a Charles Schwab account (#2582) that Former Husband had fraudulently transferred to Current Wife. The Ohio trial court found that it lacked jurisdiction to award Former Wife any interest in Former Husband's Deloitte & Touche pension or other retirement accounts. The Ohio divorce and partial property division judgment was affirmed on appeal in 2008.

         FLORIDA PROCEEDINGS

         In 2009, Former Wife petitioned a Florida court to determine and distribute marital assets and to award her spousal support. Trial took place in 2016; however, no transcript of the trial was filed with this court. The Florida trial court determined that coincidental with the filing of the 1995 suit for separation in Ohio, the Former Husband and Former Wife truly separated as they stopped all communication, ceased filing joint tax returns, had no shared interests or enterprises, and owned no real property together. Thus, the trial court announced that it would use January 1995 as the valuation date for the equitable distribution of marital assets.

         With that background, we will begin to address the issues ...


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