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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

What if you want to appeal your divorce?


If the judge in your case renders a Final Judgment that you do not think follows Florida law, you have the right to appeal. This must be done within 30 days from the entry of the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. A notice of appeal is filed, and a filing fee must be paid.

Before you undertake an appeal, you need to know that this is a very expensive process and usually lasts at least one year before receiving any ruling. In order to appeal, you need to have a transcript of the trial prepared and have the clerk issue an index.

Briefs, or written arguments, are then filed with the appellate court. A three-judge panel will consider these briefs and render a ruling based upon the briefs, case law, and the transcript. You can request oral argument in which you get to make a 20-minute presentation of your case to the three-judge panel. This is not required.

It is very difficult to appeal a family law case because you generally must show that the trial court abused its judicial discretion when coming to a decision. This is difficult. The appellate court does not have the luxury of seeing the demeanor of the parties and witnesses as they testify.

As such, the appellate court does not like to substitute their take on the facts as presented. Most successful appeals deal solely with legal error and not with the facts of the case. As a result, most appeals are not successful.

By submitting this form I acknowledge that form submissions via this website do not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

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