When a divorce is granted, the court issues a final judgment of dissolution with final orders regarding the distribution of marital property; child custody, visitation and time-sharing; child support; and spousal support or alimony. These orders are final and continue to affect the divorced couple and their children for years to come. Domestic relations orders can be modified post-judgment only by going to court and proving substantially changed circumstances that would justify a modification, so it is important to make sure the final orders and judgment accurately reflect the client’s needs and wishes.
Sometimes errors are made in the final judgment, either due to a mistake or a misapplication of the law by the court. In these instances, it is possible to appeal the judgment to the district court of appeals, but a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the rendition of the final order or judgment in order to protect your rights.
Certain non-final orders can also be appealed before a final judgment. During a divorce, temporary orders are often granted on a variety of subjects before the final judgment is entered. Under Rule 9.130(a)(3)(c) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, appeals of non-final orders are generally limited to:
The team of Boca Raton & West Palm Beach family appellate attorneys at Bresky Law is well-versed in the appeal of family law matters and can help make sure that final judgments or final orders are accurate. For assistance with a family law appeal in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach or Broward or Miami-Dade County or anywhere in Florida, contact us to speak with one of our experienced family law appellate attorneys.
Representative Family Law Appeals
In the case of Krift v. Obenour, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach ruled in our favor and affirmed the lower court ruling on a time-sharing agreement. The couple in the case had divorced with a pre-school age child. The ex-wife was living in Lake Worth, and our client, the ex-husband, was living 45 miles away in the Florida Keys. The trial court ordered a timesharing schedule which placed the child with each parent for two months at a time, but later entered an Amended Final Judgment to make the father the primary residential parent when the child begins kindergarten. The ex-wife appealed, claiming that the order represented an improper relocation order. We were able to demonstrate that the Florida relocation statute did not apply in this case, since there was no parental relocation taking place.
In another case, we obtained a reversal of a trial court ruling that had held our client in contempt for failure to pay alimony. The lower court had found that our client, the ex-husband, could afford to pay the contempt purge amount ($15,432) from $10,000 cash on hand and a baseball card collection worth $5,000. On a motion for rehearing, we argued successfully that as the $10,000 noted by the court was joint property, it could not properly be used as a basis for determining the ex-husband’s ability to pay. The court vacated its earlier decision and remanded the case to the general magistrate.
We have successfully handled numerous noteworthy appeals in family law matters. See our Notable Cases page for other representative matters.