Tuesday, February 19, 2013

First District Rejects Collateral Attack on MSA Post-Judgment

The First District Court of Appeal affirmed yesterday in Palmer v. Palmer, a case in which the Former Husband sought review of the lower court’s enforcement of the parties’ Marital Settlement Agreement.  Specifically, that agreement contained a provision requiring the Former Husband to pay a set penalty for failure to obtain refinancing on the former marital home within the agreed time.  The Former Husband argued that the provision was not a valid liquidated damages clause, but rather a punitive damage for delay in performance, and therefore was void.  The First District Court found that, in fact, such a provision would at most make for a voidable, not void, contract, thus barring a collateral attack after the incorporation of the agreement into the Court’s Final Judgment per Wells v. Wells, 832 So.2d 266 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002) and Miller v. Preefer, 1 So.3d 1278 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).

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