Sample Case Results From Kenny Leigh & Associates
Reversal on all issues: alimony, equitable distribution, attorney fees, and life insurance. In this appeal from a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, the former husband raises four issues... VIEW DETAILS
In this case the trial judge committed several errors. The judge awarded shared parental responsibility but gave our client’s former wife ultimate decision-making authority regarding their child with no justification, the judge ordered our client to pay an unreasonable amount of debt simply because he earned more money than his former wife, the judge ordered child support without actually using the child support guidelines, and the judge ordered our client to pay $2,500 in attorney’s fees to his former wife. We appealed and these issues and the appellate agreed with all of our arguments. Click here to view case results.
"Our client lives in Texas and has custody of his children. The mother of the children now lives in Florida. The Mother filed a petition to modify time sharing in Florida and got the court to give her temporary custody. However, the Texas court had already issued a child pick-up order against the Mother when she refused to return the children to the Father. We appealed the Florida custody order because the Florida court cannot simply modify a foreign order without communicating with the court in the children’s home state. Here, despite entry of the Texas child pick-up order, the Florida court refused two times to speak to the Texas court. The appeals court agreed and ordered the Florida court to communicate with the court in Texas." Click Here to View Full Results.
We originally filed an appeal of the divorce judgment and argued that the trial court abused its discretion in determining the proper amount of permanent alimony that our client should have been awarded. The appeals court agreed and reversed the final judgment and instructed the trial court to recalculate the amount of alimony to be paid to our client. However, after that appeal the trial judge went a step further and reduced the duration of our client’s alimony award from permanent alimony to 6 years of durational alimony. We filed a motion with the appeals court to enforce their mandate and argued that the trial judge exceeded the clear instruction of the appeals court, which was only related to the amount of alimony. The trial court had no authority to reduce the duration of that alimony. Once again, the appeals court agreed and ordered the trial judge to reinstate our client’s permanent alimony award.Click Here to View Full Results.
Our client went to court and sought permanent alimony because he was partially retired while his wife was fully employed and earned a much larger income. The trial court, without explanation, only awarded our client $500 per month for permanent alimony. The court also ordered our client to obtain a $100,000 life insurance policy to secure a credit card he agreed to pay. However, the balance on that credit card was only $20,000. The appeals court reversed the award of alimony to our client because the trial court failed to provide sufficient reasons for why the award was so low considering our client’s much greater need and the wife’s much greater ability to pay. The court also reversed the life insurance obligation because the $100,000 ordered was so much higher than the amount of debt that it secured. Click Here to View Full Results.
BLEVINS v. BLEVINS
Our client retained us to defend an attempt by his former wife to modify the 50/50 visitation schedule that was ordered after the parties’ divorce. Our client continued to live in the family’s former home but his former wife relocated during the divorce 45 minutes away. Shortly before the minor child was to start school last year, the former wife filed a petition to modify the custody arrangement claiming that our client refused to co-parent, refused to grant her requests to occasionally alter the visitation schedule, and that he did not promote the former wife’s relationship with the child. The trial court granted her petition and gave custody to her and ordered our client to pay child support. On appeal, we argued that the former wife failed to introduce sufficient evidence to support her allegations. In fact, most of the evidence she introduced directly refuted her claims. As to the former wife’s other allegations, we argued that they were non legally sufficient to support a custody modification. The appellate court agreed and ruled that the trial court abused its discretion. The trial court was ordered to reinstate the 50/50 visitation schedule. Click Here to View Full Results.
THERRIAULT v. THERRIAULT
Our client was ordered to maintain life insurance in the amount of $500,000 to secure his alimony and child support obligations and naming his former wife as the beneficiary. However, former wife failed to present any evidence to support her request for life insurance. The appellate court reversed that obligation imposed on our client due to the lack of evidence. Click Here to View Full Results.
TERKEURST v. TERKEURST
Our client and his former wife agreed to modify their custody arrangement to provide that one child would reside with each parent. After that agreement was approved by the court our client sought to have his child support obligation reduced. The court modified child support but did so giving the former wife credit for having both children live with her. This resulted in a substantially greater child support obligation than should have been ordered. We requested that the trial judge correct his order but he refused and we appealed. The appellate court agreed that the timesharing schedule approved by the trial court should have been used to calculate the new child support amount and ordered that child support be recalculated. Click Here to View Full Results.
SCHMIDT v. SCHMIDT
Our client attended his divorce trial and the judge made numerous oral rulings at the conclusion regarding child support, property distribution, etc. Ten months passed until the judge finally signed the Final Judgment, just weeks before his retirement. The Final Judgment signed by the court greatly contradicted the judge’s earlier oral rulings. The Final Judgment was very harmful to the husband and benefitted the wife. The new judge assigned to the case refused to change the Final Judgment to reflect the previous judge’s oral rulings. We appealed the Final Judgment because it did not reflect what the court actually ordered. The appellate court agreed, overturned the Final Judgment, and ordered the new judge to correct the order to reflect the original oral ruling. Click Here to View Full Results.
PACKO v. PACKO
The trial court ordered that our client had to forfeit his ownership rights in the parties’ marital home to his former wife. Our client and his former wife owned numerous substantial assets. During the divorce, the trial court gave the vast majority of the assets to the former wife in the distribution of the property. Our client was short-changed by the judge. We appealed the trial court’s distribution of the assets and debts and succeeded in getting the trial judge’s ruling overturned. The appellate court also reversed the trial court’s order requiring that our client obtain life insurance for the benefit of his former wife. Click Here to View Full Results.
WOOD v. BLUNK
Kenny Leigh & Associates filed an appeal of a trial court’s denial of a request downward modification of the former husband’s alimony obligation where the former wife’s income had increased. Kenny Leigh & Associates argued that when the payee spouse’s need for alimony decreased significantly, alimony should be modified regardless of whether the payer spouse has the ability to pay the original amount. The First District Court of Appeal agreed with Kenny Leigh & Associates and ruled that the trial judge’s entire ruling should be reversed. The court went on to say that Kenny Leigh & Associates was correct in arguing the trial court abused its discretion by finding there was no substantial change in circumstances to justify a downward modification of alimony despite the fact the former wife’s income had increased by 63%. Click Here to View Full Results.
MCKEE v. MCKEE
In a previous ruling by the trial court, two errors were appealed: an incorrectly classified burial plot and a 1999 Cadillac. The burial plot was listed as the former wife’s nonmarital property. The former wife received two burial plots as a gift from her aunt while she was married to our client. She listed the former husband on the deed for the plots. The former wife argued at trial that the former husband should not receive the burial plot. The 1999 Cadillac was ruled as marital property by the trial court. The former wife did not provide testimony as to how the car was obtained but the former husband did. Our client had received the car from his mother before going to a nursing home, when she transferred the title into his name. On appeal, the appellate court ruled that the burial plot should have been classified as marital property and the 1999 Cadillac should have been classified as the nonmarital property of the former husband. The appellate court reversed and remanded the trial court’s order. Click Here to View Full Results.
SHULTZ v. SHULTZ
Our client was married for over ten years and discovered during his divorce proceedings that he was not the biological father of the two children born during the marriage. At trial, we presented DNA evidence to show our client was not the biological father. The judge refused to disestablish paternity and ordered our client to pay child support for two children that were not his own. We appealed the trial court’s ruling. The appellate court agreed with our arguments that a person has no obligation to support children that are not his biological children and that he did not adopt. Therefore, the trial court order was reversed and our client’s child support obligation was terminated. Click Here to View Full Results.
HENTZE v. HENTZE
Our client’s former wife filed a supplemental petition to increase child support. At their divorce, the parties agreed to share custody with the children and share in the expenses. The former wife sought relief from the court claiming that her income had substantially decreased since the parties’ were divorced. The trial court agreed and ordered our client to pay child support and we appealed. The appellate court overturned the child support order by ruling that we had correctly argued the former wife purposely and voluntarily reduced her income. Therefore, the trial court erred by not imputing income to the former wife because she was underemployed. Click Here to View Full Results.
WALKER v. WALKER
Our firm did not represent the husband at trial but we were retained to represent him for an appeal. At trial, the husband was found to have wasted $47,000 in marital assets. Because of that finding, the trial court gave all the equity in the parties’ marital home to the wife. The trial court also failed to make findings regarding the value of numerous other properties which caused the husband to be shortchanged. The trial court next ordered the Husband to pay permanent alimony of $1,008.00 and pay his Wife’s attorney’s fees. On appeal, we argued that no evidence was presented to support a finding that the Husband wasted $47,000 in marital assets. The appeals court agreed and ruled that no dissipation of assets existed. The appeals court also reversed the entire property distribution, the award of permanent alimony, and the award of attorney’s fees. Click Here to View Full Results.
FERNANDES v. FERNANDES
Our firm did not represent the Husband at trial but we were retained to represent him for an appeal. At trial, the Husband was held in contempt because the court said that he improperly failed to pay over $5,000.00 in temporary support to his Wife. The trial court also ordered the Husband to pay permanent alimony in the amount of $2,000.00 per month despite the fact that the Wife had been employed in her own career. In our appeal, we argued that the court made an error when it held the Husband in contempt and that he owed no temporary support to his Wife. The appeals court agreed and reversed the trial court’s order. Regarding the alimony, the appeals court again reversed the alimony award stating that such a high alimony award would have caused the Husband to pass from prosperity to misfortune. Click Here to View Full Results.
BRATHWAITE v. BRATHWAITE
Our firm appealed a case where a husband was ordered to pay permanent alimony to his former wife following their 14-year marriage. The appellate court agreed with our arguments that the trial court erred in making this award because the trial court improperly calculated the former wife’s need for alimony. Kenny Leigh & Associates argued that the court double-dipped by requiring the husband to continue paying the mortgage and marital expenses while it based on the former wife’s need on her paying those same expenses. The appellate court also agreed with Kenny Leigh & Associates that the marriage was improperly classified as a long-term marriage. Finally, the appellate court accepted our argument that the trial court improperly calculated the former wife’s share of the husband’s military pension. Click Here to View Full Results.
GRIMM v. GRIMM
We represented a client on appeal when the trial court refused to award him permanent alimony following the parties’ 20 year marriage. The former wife was a federal retiree earning a pension significantly greater than the former husband’s retirement income. The former wife was also awarded significantly more assets during the divorce proceedings. The appellate court agreed with Kenny Leigh & Associates that the trial court improperly denied alimony to the former husband because it failed to take into consideration the larger share of assets that were awarded to the former wife. The appellate court also accepted our argument that the trial court was wrong to offset the former husband’s social security income against his former wife’s federal pension. Click Here to View Full Results.
BARNES v. BARNES
In this case, we defended against an appeal filed by our client’s former wife. At trial, our client was awarded half of his former wife’s federal retirement account. His former wife was also not awarded any interest in our client’s pre-marital home. On appeal, the former wife argued that our client waived his right to her retirement because he signed a document prior to the divorce which supposedly did just that. She also argued that she should have been awarded an interest in our client’s pre-marital home because they paid down the mortgage during their marriage. The appellate court affirmed that trial court’s ruling in favor of our client.
ANDERSON v. DURHAM
In this case our client retained us to file a petition for modify or terminate his alimony obligation. Our client had been working for over 40 years and wanted to retire. Due to his physical condition, he was also unable to continue performing his job anymore. Based on our presentation at trial, we showed the judge that our client’s retirement was reasonable given his age and medical condition. We also showed that our client’s former wife was depositing her entire alimony check into savings and not even using it for her monthly expenses. The former wife also filed to increase the alimony award. The judge accepted our arguments and made findings on those facts but refused to make any modification to the alimony award. We filed an appeal and argued that the trial judge abused his discretion by not lowering our client’s alimony obligation. The appellate court agreed and reversed the trial court’s ruling remanded the case back for further proceedings. The appeals court also affirmed the denial of the former wife’s attempt to get the alimony award increased. Click Here to View Full Results.
When this case was returned to the trial court, the judge ordered that our client’s alimony obligation be terminated immediately. Our client’s former wife then filed her own appeal claiming that the trial court committed error by terminating the alimony award. We succeeded on this second appeal and the termination of alimony was upheld by the appellate court.
CHRISTENSEN v. CHRISTENSEN
We did not represent this client for his divorce trial. However, he was awarded majority timesharing with his children. His former wife is disabled and unable to work so our client was ordered to pay alimony. Despite receiving substantial alimony income, the court did not order the former wife to pay child support to our client. Part of the court’s justification was that the former wife would be spending a substantial amount of overnights with the children. We were retained to file an appeal. We argued that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to properly calculate child support. The trial court failed to take account of the wife’s alimony income. Also, the court improperly gave her credit for having overnight timesharing with the children when the evidence showed that she hadn’t exercised timesharing for the past year. The appellate court agreed with Kenny Leigh & Associates and ordered the trial court to recalculate the child support owed by the former wife taking consideration of her alimony income and the fact that she does not exercise overnight timesharing. Click Here to View Full Results.
Oldham v. Greene
The trial court ordered our client to undergo a psychological evaluation based on the false and unsupported allegations of his wife. Our client has always been very involved in raising the parties’ child. His wife’s allegations were only made in her attempt to take the child from our client. We filed for extraordinary relief from the appeals court and requested that they quash the trial court order requiring psychological testing. The appeals court granted our petition and issued a writ striking down the trial court’s order. Click Here to View Full Results.
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