You Can Appeal If Your Divorce Decree was Botched

- Gary E. Williams

The right to appeal a ruling or conviction is an inherent component of the U.S. legal system. In Florida, you have the right to appeal your final divorce decree. If you believe in your recently concluded case that your attorney failed to address legal irregularities by the presiding judge, you can appeal.

How do you go about launching an appeal to your divorce settlement? Before you even begin the appeal process, you must understand that you cannot appeal the court’s ruling just because you don’t agree with the end result. If your case was truly mishandled in some way by the judge (for example, he or she denied the inclusion of certain evidence) you may be granted an appeal.

To begin the process:

  • File a Notice of Appeal in the court where the final judgment was made. You only have 30 days after the original order to file your appeal.
  • Develop and submit a written report to the appellate court. Include a Statement of Facts to provide background information, explain why you believe the court erred in not allowing evidence and conclude by offering your opinion on what the final decision should be.
  • Appear before a panel of three judges for an oral argument in the appellate court if required. They will allow you and your ex-spouse 20 minutes to present your case and answer their questions. After this process is complete, the three appellate judges confer and deliver their decision.

The appeal process requires extensive documentation that must be complete and accurate. Don’t risk dismissal of your appeal over a poorly written brief or your failure to complete all of the necessary paperwork. A family law attorney can provide assistance.