If you are dissatisfied with the outcome in a family law matter, it is worthwhile to discuss the possibility of an appeal with an experienced attorney. Under the right circumstances, dissatisfied litigants who act promptly can request a higher court overturn the family court ruling.
In Florida as in other states, the family law court system consists of three basic tiers: circuit and county trial courts, district courts of appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court. Initially, divorces, paternity disputes, and other family law matters are handled in the trial courts. But, if a party to a family law matter is unhappy with the outcome, under certain circumstances that party canfile an appeal in the district court serving their jurisdiction.
There are only limited grounds to appeal a family court ruling in Florida, and all appeals must be filed within a very small window of time. As a result, if you are interested in filing an appeal, it is important to speak with a family law appeals attorney as soon as possible.
Appealing a Family Law Court Order in Orlando
Appeals are possible in all types of family law matters. This includes:
When you contact our law firm, we will act quickly to evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds to file an appeal. If so, as long as it is not already too late, our team will make sure that yourNotice of Appeal gets filed in time to preserve your legal rights.
Time Limit for Filing an Appeal
UnderFlorida law, you have 30 days from the date the trial court renders its final order within which to file a Notice of Appeal. This is a strict deadline. If you miss it, you will have waived your right to seek appellate review of the trial court’s decision. However, what constitutes a “final order” is not always clear-cut. As a result, before you make any decisions about your appeal, we encourage you to contact one of our attorneys to make sure you have calculated the deadline correctly.
Grounds for Filing an Appeal
As we mentioned above, the grounds for filing a family law appeal in Florida are very limited. The primary grounds for appeals are:
The judge ignored important evidence. For example, if you were seeking alimony or child support and the judge refused to consider evidence that your spouse was hiding income, this could form the basis for an appeal.
The judge ignored established law. Trial court judges are required to apply established law to the facts of the case. You may be entitled to file an appeal if your judge misunderstood or ignored applicable law.
The judge abused his or her discretion. Trial court judges have a limited amount of discretion, which they must apply reasonably in all circumstances. An unreasonable application of the “best interests of the child” factors in that a custody dispute or a significant departure from the child support calculation guidelines could be an example of an abuse of judicial discretion.
These are complex legal issues, and determining whether you have grounds to file an appeal requires a thorough understanding of both substantive and procedural law. At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, our attorneys can provide a thorough case assessment that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to file an appeal.
You May Also Be Able to Request a Modification
In many cases, individuals who need to seek changes to a family law court order can do so by petitioning the court for amodification. Modifications focus not on mistakes made by the court, but rather on changes in the parties’ personal circumstances. Unlike filing an appeal, there is no time limit for requesting a modification.
If your circumstances have changed significantly and you are no longer able to meet your obligations (for example, regarding time sharing, alimony, or child support), you may be entitled to a modification. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you evaluate your options for seeking a modification from the court.
Contact McMichen, Cinami & Demps about Your Orlando Family Law Appeal
Call today to speak with one of our Orlando family law appeals attorneys and find out if you have grounds to file an appeal. Call (407) 988-2097 or submit our online form today and let our experience work for you!