If only getting a divorce were as simple as just parting ways with your spouse. A number of tough issues must be addressed in a divorce, including how to divide your assets, debts and the custody of your children. In an ideal world, the divorce court would resolve these issues to the satisfaction of both parties, but, unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you believe the court’s final order was grossly unfair or was based a legal error, you may be able to appeal the court’s decision. Keep in mind, however, that appellate courts are reluctant to reverse a trial judge’s decision.
Trial judges in divorce cases have broad discretion. In an appeal, you must establish that the judge abused that discretion or made an incorrect legal or procedural ruling that led to an improper result. For example, if the judge wrongly barred evidence that would have strongly supported your position, you might have grounds for an appeal. Similarly, you might have a shot if the judge misinterpreted the law, or if crucial information has come to light that was unknown at the time of the trial. You should not expect an appellate court to reverse the trial judge’s decision simply because you think the judge was wrong.
In Florida, to begin the appeal process, you must file a Notice of Appeal with the trial court within 30 days of when the trial court issues its order. As the process proceeds, your attorney will file a series of briefs with the appropriate District Court of Appeal. Appealing a divorce decision is a complex process that can go awry if the right documents aren’t filed at the right time. Consult a knowledgeable Tampa divorce attorneyto learn whether you have grounds for an appeal in your case.