Divorce Appeals


The Eighth Judicial Circuit has exceptional family law judges. But, the justice system is imperfect. There may be times when a court order is issued that is in contradiction to Florida law. The reasons that a court order may be issued in contradiction of the law vary. However, there is a remedy. Florida law provides the process for an appeal when a court order is issued that is “wrong” under Florida law. There is a time period for appealing a court’s decision, so you should immediately contact an experienced Gainesville divorce attorney at the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates to determine your legal rights.

There are some court orders that are immediately appealable and some orders that are not until the end of the case. A delay in filing the appeal could result in the inability to receive relief, even if you are entitled to relief under Florida law.

Gainesville Divorce Appeals & Trial Lawyers

During a divorce in the state of Florida, if spouses cannot agree on important aspects such as distribution of assets, custody, and financial support, then the outcome of the divorce will be left to a judge to decide. The judge will make decisions based on evidence, witnesses and important factors of the marriage.

However, judges can sometimes make mistakes or come to a decision that is not satisfying for one or both spouses. If this occurs, spouses have the opportunity to request an appeal for the divorce ruling. However, there are various types of appeals, and the process can be quite complex. While not all appeals are successful in overturning a judgment, it can be done. To build the strongest case for your appeal, it is important to work alongside an experienced attorney. Divorce lawyers in Gainesville, FL with the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can help you navigate the divorce appeals process.

Grounds to Appeal

When requesting an appeal to overturn a divorce decree, you must have a legitimate reason. Simply disagreeing with a judge’s decision is not enough to be granted an appeal.

Some of the most common reasons for why a divorce judgment should be changed include:

  • a legal mistake made by the judge,
  • fraudulent information provided to the court by your spouse,
  • newly discovered facts crucial to the divorce, and
  • concealment of assets.

In Florida, divorce law gives any final judgment the benefit of the doubt. It is your responsibility to provide proof when requesting an appeal. Because of this, it is very important to document court proceedings and how the conclusion was reached. Seeking the legal counsel from Gainesville attorneys with the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can help you build a solid case for a greater chance of success with your appeal.

Types of Divorce Appeals

Notice of Exception to the Report & Recommendation of a General Magistrate

In Florida, some divorces are heard by a general magistrate appointed by a judge to take testimony and make recommendations on the case. The judge will review the recommendations; it is common for the judge to accept them when making the final ruling. If a general magistrate is appointed in your case, you can file an objection to schedule your case for a hearing with a Circuit Court Judge. The objection must be filed within 10 days of the magistrate's decision.

Motion for Rehearing

If your case was determined by a divorce court, you can immediately make a motion for your case to be reheard. This motion does not guarantee that you will have your divorce case reheard, but it does serve as an initial step in the appeals process. Gainesville, FL, divorce attorneys will help you with this motion. A Motion for Rehearing must be filed immediately after the final decision.

Traditional Appeal

A traditional appeal is the most common and standard form of divorce appeals. It must be filed within 30 days of the original court decision for it to be heard by a Florida District Court of Appeals. During a traditional appeal, you must prove that the judge made a legal mistake regarding divorce law, and no new evidence can be presented.

Motion for Relief from Judgment

If you fail to file an appeal within 30 days after the divorce order was finalized, you can motion for “Relief from Judgment.” This type of motion can be especially difficult to succeed in and it often requires proof that fraud was committed by your spouse regarding the case. The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates has divorce lawyers Gainesville, FL, on whom residents have counted during a Motion for Relief from Judgment.

Filing for an Appeal

Before filing for an appeal in a divorce ruling, you must understand which form of appeal is most appropriate for your case and be able to raise certain faults with the judge’s decision or have proof of an issue that could grant you an appeal. During the appeals process it is important that you do not make any mistakes or miss any deadlines, as this could cost you the appeal. A divorce attorney in Gainesville, FL, will help you understand the appeal, determine what is appropriate, and complete filing within the deadline.

Divorce Appeals Process

When a case initially proceeds through the court system, the case goes before the trial court for resolution. The trial court (judge) will rule on the issues as they are presented. After the order is rendered, a party has a specific time period to appeal (usually 30 days). This appeal goes to the appellate court and is considered by a different judge(s) than the initial trial judge who heard the case.

For purposes of a divorce appeal, there are different legal standards for review by the appellate court. This means that there are some issues that give the trial judge broad discretion in deciding. If the trial judge has broad discretion to decide, it is more difficult to get that decision overturned on appeal. If the trial judge has less discretion, it may be easier to get the decision overturned on appeal.

Divorce Lawyers in Gainesville, FL Can Help

In considering an appeal, it is important to have a record for review. In other words, it is better for your appellate case if there was a court reporter present for purposes of showing the appellate court exactly what happened during the trial court proceedings. If you have an issue that you may like to appeal if the Court rules against you, it is important that you have a court reporter present at the hearing or trial.

If you have a court order that you would like to appeal, do not delay in contacting the divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates to discuss your legal rights.