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Appeals In Florida Divorce

Florida divorce lawye Matthew Irwin has extensive experience dealing with Florida family law and divorce issues and knows that appealing a divorce, custody or support decision is tricky business. The person appealing the decision must be able to show that a mistake was made or that fraudulent activity occurred during the original hearing. For example, if your spouse hid or lied about assets or income this could affect alimony or back child support calculations and would be a good reason for appealing the decision.

Appeals of Divorce, Custody & Support Decisions

Florida family law provides for four types of appeals in a divorce, custody or support decision:

1. If a General Magistrate heard your case, you can file a “Notice of Exception to the Report and Recommendation of a General Magistrate.” When you file this objection, your case will be scheduled for a hearing by a Circuit Court Judge. You must file your objection within 10 days of the magistrate’s decision.

2. If your case was determined by a divorce court, you can file a “Motion for Rehearing.” A Motion for Rehearing must be filed immediately after the original decision is handed down and the judge can decline your request for a rehearing.

3. A standard appeal to the District Court of Appeals can be filed within 30 days of the original court order. In this sort of appeal you must show that the trial court judge did not properly follow divorce law. You cannot show any new evidence.

4. If more than 30 days has passed since the court order was handed down, your only recourse is a “Motion for Relief from Judgment.” This is a very difficult form of appeal to succeed at and often requires proof that fraud was perpetrated against the court by your former spouse, i.e. they lied about assets or income.

In all cases, you cannot appeal a decision simply because you didn’t like a judge’s decision. You must be able to show that some sort of wrongdoing or error occurred. This can be a legal mistake by the judge or concealment of facts or assets by your spouse. If newly discovered facts could alter a judgment, that could be grounds for an appeal also. Whatever your grounds for appeal, the burden of proof is on you and your lawyer. Florida law requires that benefit of the doubt be given to the original judgment.

Free Initial Consultations

If new facts would likely alter a judge’s decision about your divorce, custody arrangement or back child support, or if the judge or magistrate did not follow Florida law correctly, then you may be able to appeal your case. Our attorneys can tell you for sure. Your initial consultation by phone is absolutely free. There’s no cost or obligation. Schedule a free consultation with a Florida divorce lawyer on our Free Consults page or call us at 866-995-0166.