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Marital and family appellate law is a highly specialized practice area because the legal issues are much more technical and complex at the appellate level and are subject to different rules of procedure.


The attorneys at Davis, Smith & Jean LLC are highly trained litigators with extensive experience in family law appeals. Florida family law appeals must be filed within 30 days of the delivery or final judgment, or you waive your right to an appeal.

In Florida, there are four types of appeals in dissolution of marriage, custody and support cases:

  1. Notice of Exception to the Report and Recommendation of a General Magistrate. If a general magistrate decided your case, you can file an objection within 10 days of the magistrate’s decision for your case to be heard by a circuit court judge.
  2. Motion for Rehearing. If a judge decided your case, you can file a motion for rehearing immediately after the original decision is handed down. These motions often are used when you believe an error occurred during the first hearing. The court can decline your request for a rehearing.
  3. Appeal to the District Court of Appeals. A standard appeal must be filed within 30 days of the original court order. This sort of appeal must demonstrate that the judge did not follow the law or there was an abuse of discretion. You are not allowed to present any new evidence.
  4. Motion for Relief from Judgment. This motion often requires proof that fraud was committed against the court, for example that your former spouse lied about assets or income. This type of relief can be filed after the 30-day period for the standard appeal has passed but is very difficult to obtain.

Laura Davis Smith and Sonja Jean are highly trained and experienced negotiators and litigators who are qualified and passionate about guiding you and your family through every step of the divorce process. If an appeal is warranted in your family law case, we are knowledgeable about the complexities and rules of law for marital and family law appeals in Florida.

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