Divorce Appeals Attorney


The Eighth Judicial Circuit has exceptional family law judges, but the justice system — as a whole — is imperfect. There may be times when a court order contradicts Florida law. The reasons for a contradictory court order to state law varies, but there is a remedy. Laws in the State of Florida provide the possibility of filing an appeal to court orders that violate or contradict state laws. There is a short time period to appeal a court’s decision, so you should contact an experienced Gainesville divorce attorney with the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates right away to determine your legal rights.

There are some court orders that can be quickly appealed immediately with other orders require lengths of time to overturn. A delay in filing the appeal could result in the inability to receive relief, even if you are entitled to relief under Florida law.

How Do Divorce Appeals Work?

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.

Who Determines Appeals To Divorce Orders?

During a divorce, if spouses cannot agree on important aspects such as the 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 to 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, contact our Gainesville attorneys to discuss your case.

What Is Required To Appeal A Divorce Ruling?

When requesting an appeal to overturn a divorce decree, you must have a legitimate reason. Simply disagreeing with a judge’s decision is not suffice for an appeal. 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. Common reasons to overturn a divorce judgment include the following.

  • Newly discovered facts crucial to the divorce
  • Concealment of marital assets
  • A legal mistake made by the judge
  • Fraudulent information provided by your spouse

Types Of Divorce Appeals

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.

Notice Of Exception To The Report

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 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.

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 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. Your attorney will help you with this motion. A Motion for Rehearing must be filed immediately after the final decision.