Everyone makes mistakes, including judges. Sometimes a court does not apply the right law to a set of facts. Other times, a court improperly considers a fact not allowed under the law. If you are unhappy with the result of your case, a divorce appeal attorney may be able to give you another shot.
If the judge in your case applied the wrong law or considered improper facts, you may be able to appeal your case. In Florida, the first court that considers your appeal is a district court. Florida is divided into several districts. Each district may have slightly different views of how the law is applied. A divorce appeal attorney should know what district your case should be filed in, and the law specific to that district. Orlando divorce cases are appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals.
It’s important to know that you cannot appeal everything. Most of the time, if you have signed a settlement agreement in your case, you will not be able to appeal the agreement.
If you have decided you’d like to appeal your divorce, you will need to make sure you follow a very specific path. The first important step is timing. Your divorce appeal attorney has a limited time to appeal a final judgment of divorce. If you miss the deadline, you will most likely not be able to appeal.
The second critical part of any appeal is “the record.” The only way an appellate court can consider your case is if it was properly documented. The record contains all of the documents filed in your case. Of particular importance will be transcripts of your trial. Transcripts of any other hearings that concern the same issue will also be important. If you did not have a court reporter at your final hearing, you may not be have a suitable record for an appeal.
A divorce appeal attorney will primarily file “briefs” in your case to make his argument. A brief is a written summary of the procedural history of your case, the legal argument concerning the issue the lower court got wrong, and citations to the law supporting that the lower court made a mistake. Several briefs are allowed during the process. The person challenging the court’s ruling, referred to as the appellant, files the initial brief. The other spouse, referred to as the appellee, also is allowed to file briefs responding to the arguments made by the appellant.
The appellate court may allow oral argument. Oral arguments involves your divorce appeal attorney appearing before a panel of appellate judges to answer questions the judges may have regarding the briefs filed. An oral argument may not be required by the appellate court.
The first step to determining whether you can challenge your divorce judgment is to consult with a divorce appeal attorney at our firm. Bringing the transcript of your trial will help our attorneys determine what the court got right, and what may be available to appeal. We will then work with you to narrow the most important issues that might be available to challenge. We will also give you our best estimate of your success with the appellate court.
Would you like to challenge your divorce judgment? Contact Christopher M. Sprysenski, P.A. to schedule a consultation with an Orlando divorce appeal attorney with our firm. Call us today at 407-630-8485. We offer payment plans and accept all major credit cards.