Safford v. Safford, 94-01066

Citation656 So.2d 485
Decision Date14 December 1994
Docket NumberNo. 94-01066,94-01066
Parties19 Fla. L. Weekly D2627 Robert C. SAFFORD, Appellant, v. Katherine SAFFORD, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)

Marie Tomassi of Trenam, Simmons, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye & O'Neill, P.A., Tampa, for appellant.

Jane L. Estreicher of Hastings & Estreicher, P.A., and Allen P. Allweiss of Allweiss & Allweiss, P.A., and Myron J. Mensh of Mensh, Walker, Harrington, MacIntosh & Runyon, P.A., St. Petersburg, for appellee.

RYDER, Acting Chief Judge.

Robert C. Safford, the husband, raises two issues in his appeal from the trial court's nonfinal order granting temporary alimony, attorney's fees and costs in this dissolution of marriage action. We affirm the order with respect to temporary alimony, but we find merit to the husband's argument that the trial court erroneously awarded temporary attorney's fees and costs without determining that the amounts sought were reasonable.

Section 61.16(1), Florida Statutes (1993), allows a court to "order a party to pay a reasonable amount for attorney's fees, suit money, and the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding" under Chapter 61. The "appropriate inquiry and standard to be applied is the same whether the fees requested are temporary or final." Nichols v. Nichols, 519 So.2d 620, 622 (Fla.1988). The trial court must "not only determine that one spouse has a need for suit money and the other has the ability to pay, but also that the temporary attorney's fees and costs awarded are reasonable." Duncan v. Duncan, 642 So.2d 1167 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994).

Here, no testimony was taken on the issue of temporary attorney's fees. A one-page bill from the wife's counsel totaling $125,000.00 was the only evidence offered on the issue. The bill did not contain information regarding anticipated work to be done or hourly billing rates.

The wife argued to the trial court and contends on appeal that the change in section 61.16, effective October 1, 1993, obviated the need for any testimony regarding the reasonableness of attorney's fees sought under the statute. The change added the following to section 61.16: "An application for attorney's fees, suit money, or costs, whether temporary or otherwise, shall not require corroborating expert testimony in order to support an award under this chapter." We conclude, however, that this change did not alter the burden of the party seeking fees to prove with evidence their...

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12 cases
  • Schreiber v. Schreiber
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 30, 2021
    ...seeking fees still has the burden "to prove with evidence their reasonableness and necessity of the fees sought." Safford v. Safford, 656 So. 2d 485, 486 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). This requires that the movant "present records detailing the amount of work performed and the time to perform each ta......
  • Schreiber v. Schreiber
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 30, 2021
    ... ... fees sought." Safford v. Safford, 656 So.2d ... 485, 486 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). This requires that the movant ... ...
  • Faircloth v. Bliss, 4D04-2761.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • January 4, 2006
    ...the fee award without remand. Affirmed in part and Reversed in part. STEVENSON, C.J., and POLEN, J., concur. 1. See Safford v. Safford, 656 So.2d 485, 486 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (noting that the amendment to Florida Statutes section 61.16 effective 1993 obviating the need for corroborating expe......
  • Addie v. Coale
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 13, 2013
    ...proving the reasonableness and the necessity of the fee sought. Baker v. Baker, 35 So.3d 76, 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010); Safford v. Safford, 656 So.2d 485, 486 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). In cases where the divorce leaves the “poorer” spouse “with a substantial equitable distribution, courts have either......
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4 books & journal articles
  • Temporary relief
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Family Law and Practice - Volume 1
    • April 30, 2022
    ...and the other has the ability to pay, but also that temporary attorneys’ fees and costs awarded are reasonable. [ Safford v. Safford, 656 So. 2d 485 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (circuit court should not have awarded temporary attorneys’ fees and costs in marital dissolution action, where no testimon......
  • Attorneys' fees and costs
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Family Law and Practice - Volume 1
    • April 30, 2022
    ...law firm attesting to fees and costs incurred, but there was no indication that trial court considered Rowe factors); Safford v. Safford, 656 So. 2d 485 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (appropriate inquiry and standard to be applied, pursuant to statute which allows court to order party to pay reasonabl......
  • Final judgment; rehearing; motions related to judgment
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Family Law and Practice - Volume 1
    • April 30, 2022
    ...as FINAL JUDGMENT; REHEARING; MOTIONS §20:61 Florida Family Law and Practice 20-20 affected by the final judgment); Safford v. Safford, 656 So. 2d 485 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994)(appropriate inquiry and standard to be applied, pursuant to statute which allows court to order party to pay reasonable a......
  • Family law fees - the high points and the current state of the law.
    • United States
    • Florida Bar Journal Vol. 73 No. 4, April 1999
    • April 1, 1999
    ...449 So. 2d 395 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1984). [20] Fitterman v. Fitterman, 502 So. 2d 8 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1986). [21] Safford v. Safford, 656 So. 2d 485 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1994); Dralus v. Dralus, 627 So. 2d 505 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1993); Haines v. Sophia, 711 So. 2d 209 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. [22] See generall......

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