Retaining jurisdiction in the final judgment to award attorney’s fees!
Where the trial court fails to address a request for attorney’s fees and costs or to reserve jurisdiction to consider the issue, the final judgment should be reversed and remanded for entry of a corrected judgment
reserving jurisdiction to address the request for attorney’s fees and costs. See May v. May, 908 So. 2d 558, 559 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005); Yangco v. Yangco, 901 So. 2d 217, 222 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005); see also Singer v.
Singer, 38 So. 3d 889 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010); Perez v. Perez, 846 So. 2d 685 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). In Harbin v. Harbin, 762 So. 2d 561 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000), the wife petitioned the court for modification of child support and requested attorney’s fees. Her pretrial statement included a request for fees, and at the hearing she asked the court to rule on her entitlement to fees. When the trial court entered its final judgment of modification, it did not include a reservation of jurisdiction to determine fees. The wife moved for rehearing, requesting a ruling on her entitlement to attorney’s fees, but the trial court summarily denied the motion for rehearing. On appeal, the Fifth District held that the trial court should have determined the issue of attorney’s fees and should have reserved jurisdiction for that purpose. The court further explained that even though the trial court failed to reserve jurisdiction on attorney’s fees in its final judgment, “it nevertheless had jurisdiction to amend its final judgment to add the reservation of jurisdiction on the wife’s entitlement to attorney’s fees as the former wife had timely filed a motion for rehearing on this issue.” Id. at 563. Therefore, the court reversed to require amendment of the judgment to reserve fees.