Be Careful What You Don’t Ask For – Because You Are Not Going to Get It

Let’s say that in your Sarasota, Florida divorce case you want the court to change your name, or order the family residence sold.  You might think that at a trial, the judge can order these outcomes, under the “large umbrella” of granting you a divorce.  However, that is not the case in Florida.  As a recent Second District Court of Appeals case demonstrates, in Florida you have to ask for what you want in detailed terms.  And, you have to continue to ask  for what you want, right up to the date of trial.  If you fail to do this, the trial court may find that what you are requesting is not a issue that the court can address.   (The issue is not “before the court”).


In the Court of Appeals case, the wife’s petition requested alimony, and requested that the husband be required to provide life insurance to secure his alimony payments.  However, the issue of the insurance was not included in wife’s pretrial memorandum and in the pretrial order.  While one could argue that the issue of alimony by its vary nature includes the issue of insuring its payment, the Court of Appeals did not take this approach.  Instead, the Court of Appeals found that the trial court did not error when it determined that the issue of life insurance was not before the court.


If you would like to read the case, I have provided the link below:


Banks v. Banks




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