Joachim v. Joachim, 5D05-1780.

Citation942 So.2d 3
Decision Date22 September 2006
Docket NumberNo. 5D05-1780.,5D05-1780.
PartiesJeffrey G. JOACHIM, Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. Sharon Ann JOACHIM, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Jeffrey G. Joachim, Beverly Hills, pro se.

Rhonda Portwood, Inverness, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

THOMPSON, J.

The Former Husband, Jeffrey Joachim, raises eight issues in his pro se appeal of the trial court's final judgment of dissolution, and the Former Wife cross-appeals the award of primary residential custody of one of the minor children to the Former Husband and the denial of permanent periodic alimony. We conclude that only two issues raised by the Former Husband merit discussion. We agree that the court erred in equitably distributing his contractor's license. But the trial court did not err in the assessment of attorney's fees. We otherwise affirm the appeal and the Former Wife's cross-appeal.

The parties were married in September 1982 and separated in December 2000. The parties had three children during the marriage, two of whom remained minors at the time of dissolution. The court found that the value of the marital home and two boats had decreased during the parties' separation and, as a consequence, those assets were lost during the course of the proceedings. The court equitably distributed the remaining assets and liabilities, including the Former Husband's contractor's license valued at $5000.

The Former Husband argues that the court erred by characterizing his contractor's license as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution and valuing it at $5000. Further, he contends that the determination is based upon the Former Wife's speculative opinion as to value. During the hearing, the Former Wife testified, without supporting documentation, the couple easily expended $5000 to obtain the Former Husband's contractor's license, including course tuition and books.

The trial court attempted to distribute the educational cost of obtaining the contractor's license. Based solely upon the Former Wife's testimony that she thought they spent at least $5000 to acquire the license, the court, valued the license as a $5000 asset. The majority view is that, although an educational degree could be considered by the trial court in distributing marital assets and in determining the propriety and amount of alimony, an educational degree is not property subject to distribution. Hughes v. Hughes, 438 So.2d 146, 149 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). In Severs v. Severs, 426 So.2d 992, 994 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983), we similarly held that a wife's claim to a vested interest in the husband's education and professional productivity, past and future, is unsupported by any statutory or case law. The value of degrees, as measured by future earning capacity, is too speculative to calculate. Hughes, 438 So.2d at 149. The Third District in Hughes discussed, but ultimately rejected, the concept expressed in out-of-state decisions that measured a spouse's interest in the other party's educational degree as the amount spent for direct support and school expenses during the period of education. We reverse the trial court's equitable distribution of the Former Husband's contractor's license.

The court considered the Former Wife's motion for attorney's fees and concluded that the Former Husband's numerous motions and opposition to one of the Former Wife's motions were frivolous or designed to prevent the case from proceeding expeditiously. The court also found that the Former Husband's pro se representation resulted in additional attorney's fees incurred by the Former Wife, and, had he acted in good faith, those fees would have been less. It also concluded that the Former Husband had a greater ability to pay attorney's fees. Accordingly, the court ordered the Former Husband to pay 80 percent of the Former Wife's fees. The Former Wife incurred a bill of $2750 for attorney Day's services and $3600 for attorney Portwood's. The court found that the number of hours was reasonable based on the evidence presented at trial and a review of the court file....

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • Schreiber v. Schreiber
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 30 Diciembre 2021
    ...fees in a dissolution proceeding for abuse of discretion. Canakaris v. Canakaris, 382 So. 2d 1197 (Fla. 1980) ; Joachim v. Joachim, 942 So. 2d 3, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). The award must be supported by competent, substantial evidence. Faircloth v. Bliss, 917 So. 2d 1005, 1006 (Fla. 4th DCA 20......
  • Schreiber v. Schreiber
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 30 Diciembre 2021
    ... ... Canakaris v ... Canakaris, 382 So.2d 1197 (Fla. 1980); Joachim v ... Joachim, 942 So.2d 3, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). The award ... must be supported by ... ...
  • Caryi v. Caryi, 5D11–1933.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 2 Abril 2012
    ...(sic).” We reverse. An award of attorney's fees in a dissolution proceeding is reviewed for the abuse of discretion. Joachim v. Joachim, 942 So.2d 3, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). However, the fee award must be supported by competent, substantial evidence. Faircloth v. Bliss, 917 So.2d 1005, 1006 ......
  • Caryi v. Caryi, Case No. 5D11-1933
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 16 Marzo 2012
    ...(sic)." We reverse. An award of attorney's fees in a dissolution proceeding is reviewed for the abuse of discretion. Joachim v. Joachim, 942 So. 2d 3, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). However, thePage 2fee award must be supported by competent, substantial evidence. Faircloth v. Bliss, 917 So. 2d 1005......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Marriage dissolution
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Small-Firm Practice Tools - Volume 1-2 Volume 2
    • 1 Abril 2023
    ...3d DCA 1983).] This is because the value of such a degree is too speculative to be considered as a marital asset. [ Joachim v. Joachim , 942 So. 2d 3, 4 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006).] §11:127 Stock Options Vested and non-vested stock options earned during a marriage are marital property subject to e......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT