“The Judge got it all wrong…. How do we fix it?”
A Trip up the Appellate Ladder
Florida Appellate Court
Law Appeals in Florida
Unfortunately, in most cases where the parties in a dissolution case aren’t able to come to an agreement, and the judge makes the decision about important issues such as to how much alimony is due, which parent gets timesharing on Christmas Day, and how much of your spouse 401(k) are you entitled to, one party inevitably feels that the decision is all wrong. The answer to “How do we fix it?” is a two-step process.
First, you can request that the trial judge grant you a rehearing, and argue that the judgment he or she entered is wrong as a matter of law, or that it is contrary to the facts. If the judge chooses to grant the re-hearing (and most judges don’t – what judge likes to admit to being wrong?), this is your chance to point to evidence presented at trial that supports your version of what the outcome should have been. If the judge refuses to grant the rehearing, or grants the rehearing, but rules against you, the next step is to appeal to the District Court.
However, there are serious considerations to take into account before you file your Notice of Appeal, and you only have thirty days from the date that a signed final judgment is filed with the clerk to do so. The first, and prime consideration, is whether or not your appellate attorney feels that there is an arguable, legal basis – not an emotional, personal one – to overturn the judge’s decision.
Not all “wrong decisions” are wrong legal decisions. There is the question of whether what you may gain is worth the emotional toll it takes to continue to drag out the fight against your ex-spouse.
Finally, there is the financial consideration – appellate work is specialized and costly, and may or may not be worth the climb.
CONTACT AN APPELLATE LAWYER IN FLORIDA
If you are seeking an appeal, contact the Brandon Legal Group.