Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fourth District Court Affirms, But Explains, in Cohen v. Cohen

The Fourth District released an opinion today in Cohen v. Cohen in which they affirmed the lower court's ruling but offered detailed explanations as to several issues. First, they found no abuse of discretion in the lower tribunal's denial of motions seeking to amend and for continuance based on claims of concealed assets where over 16,000 pages had previously been produced in response to 14 requests for production and no evidence suggested concealment during four days of trial. The Fourth District also found no error in the trial court's belief that the Husband's accountant was the more credible, evidently largely because of the Husband's testimony, found credible, that no interspousal gift was intended when a business account was titled jointly, and the Wife's apparent unwillingness to accept certain assets at the values put forward by her own expert accountant. And, finally, the Court approved of the trial court's denial of bridge-the-gap alimony based on the long period of separation prior to trial, the lack of evidence that the Wife could meet short-term needs without bridge-the-gap alimony, and the lack of evidence found as to the Wife's efforts or intention to seek employment in the future.

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