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Appealing A Florida Child Custody/Timesharing Ruling In Florida

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Florida courts usually do their best to make timesharing decisions in the best interest of the child. However, sometimes, mistakes happen. As a parent in the state of Florida, you have the legal right to appeal a child custody/timesharing judgment if you disagree with the court’s decision. In Florida, the window to request an appeal is time-sensitive, and it is crucial that you remain aware of this. A Notice of Appeal needs to be filed with the lower court that issued the original judgment within 30 DAYS of a final judgment. After you do the filing, the lower Court will send your notice to a Florida district court of appeal.

Out of the many types of appeals, appeals of child custody/timesharing decisions are some of the most serious.. Even if, as a parent, you have the legal right to file an appeal, you need to keep in mind that appealing a Florida child custody/timesharing decision can be an uphill battle. The chances that a ruling will be reversed in whole or in part depends on several things. Before appealing a Florida child custody/timesharing decision, ask yourself, among other things, the following questions:

  1. Did the Court that issued the original judgment misinterpret the law or any facts?
  2. Did the Court that issued the original judgment consider all the factors listed under Florida Statute 61.13?

If you answered yes to one or both questions, then you have a real chance at convincing the Appellate Court to reverse in whole, or in part, the original child custody/timesharing judgment.

Did the Court Misinterpret the Law or Facts?

Suppose a judge in the lower court failed to consider a legal requirement or applied the wrong legal analysis. In such a case, if you file an appeal, the Court of Appeal will apply a “de novo” standard of review. According to Cornell Law School, when a Court hears a case de novo (Latin for “of new” or “from the beginning”), it decides matters without reference to any conclusion or assumption made by the court that issued the original judgment. In short, if an appellate court applies the de novo standard of review, it will review your case as if the lower court had not rendered any decision.

Suppose you claim that the Court that rendered the original judgment reached a wrong conclusion from the evidence. In such a case, the appellate court will apply the “abuse of discretion” standard of review. Generally, abuse of discretion happens when a judge makes a ruling that is absurd or unreasonable. In such a case, the appellate court cannot merely disagree with the original judgment. Rather, the appellate court must determine whether the lower court’s Judge made an erroneous ruling not supported by substantial evidence.

Did the Court Consider All the Factors Listed Under Florida Statute 61.13?

In Florida, a judge must consider all the factors listed under Statute 61.13 before making any child custody/timesharing decision. If the Judge that issued the original child custody/timesharing judgment did not consider these factors, you have a real chance at convincing the Appellate Court to reverse in part or in whole the original judgment.

Contact a Qualified Child Custody Attorney Today

For more information on appealing child custody/timesharing decisions in Florida, contact a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney at Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.13.html

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