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When the Judge Is Dead Wrong - How Soon Must I Appeal ?

So, you made it through the family court system and received a final judgment in your case. And it is not what you wanted, not something you can live with, or an impossibly wrong decision. What can you do?

REHEARING & RECONSIDERATION : You can file a motion requesting a rehearing or reconsideration by your original judge. This gives them an opportunity to correct any mistakes that might be in the final judgment. The hearing is an opportunity for them to hear argument and receive evidence that explains why some part of the final judgment was wrong. Time is of the essence as you have ten (10) days to file a motion for rehearing or a motion for reconsideration after receiving your final judgment. Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.530, referencing Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.530.
EXCEPTIONS TO YOUR GENERAL MAGISTRATE’S REPORT : If a General Magistrate heard your case they will submit a report to the Judge where they make recommendations in your case. These will be reviewed and in most cases adopted in their entirety. If you object to something in that report you can file an exception to the General Magistrate’s report where the problems are highlighted and explained. Again timing is important for exceptions. They must be filed within ten (10) days of the report being filed. It is very important to have an attorney review that report as soon as possible if you object to something in it. Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.490(f).
APPEAL : If a Judge heard your case and you receive a final judgment that is unbearable you can file an appeal. This must be done within 30 days of the final judgment or else the right to appeal is waived. This option is expensive and time consuming. If you are okay with or even happy about large portions of your final judgment a full appeal might not be the best option. Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.110(b).

It is important to speak with an attorney about the particulars of your case as soon as possible after receiving a General Magistrate’s report or a final judgment that you are unhappy with to see which of the above options might be right for you.

Note: This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

For further information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Miami please contact Dadvocacy at (305) 371-7640.