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How Can You Appeal a Divorce Judgment in the State of Florida?


In Florida, residents have a right to appeal criminal and civil court rulings, including a divorce judgment. However, state law sets forth specific limitations and procedures for appealing a final judgment of divorce in the State of Florida.

If you are looking to appeal a divorce judgment in Florida, it is important to speak with a skilled divorce attorney to discuss the appellate process in your particular case. If you are considering appealing your divorce order in Florida, you need to consult with a lawyer to determine the grounds behind your appeal.

Under Florida law, there are four grounds for an action of an appeal:

  1. There has been newly discovered evidence
  2. Fraud
  3. Concealment of assets
  4. A legal mistake by the judge

However, you must present clear and convincing evidence to establish any of these grounds to appeal a divorce judgment in Florida. Your dissatisfaction with a court’s decision alone is not enough to appeal the ruling. Note: You are not allowed to submit any new evidence or testimony to appeal a court order.

How to Appeal a Divorce Judgment in Florida?

Often, people pursue a Motion for Rehearing after a divorce judgment has been issued. The judge who issued the original ruling may refuse to rehear your divorce case. In many cases, people file a Motion for Rehearing before seeking a formal appeal.

When it comes to appealing a case formally, your appeal will be heard before the District Court of Appeals. The State of Florida is comprised of five districts, and each of them covers a list of circuits and counties. The formal appeal process has specific procedural requirements and deadlines.

If you wish to seek a formal appeal in the State of Florida, you must:

  • File a notice of appeal within 30 days of the court’s ruling. The notice must be submitted with the appropriate trial court.
  • After the notice has been forwarded to the District Court of Appeals, the clerk will provide you with a copy of the official record of your appeal case.
  • You must direct the court reporter to draft and issue a copy of the transcript of your case within 10 days of filing the Notice of Appeal.
  • Your divorce attorney will prepare an appellate brief, which must be served on the opposing party and the court within 70 days of filing the Notice of Appeal.

What Happens When You Appeal a Divorce Judgment in Florida?

Essentially, the appellate brief drafted by your attorney will present your arguments. The opposing party and their attorney will then be allowed to submit their answer brief in response to your appellate brief.

Then, each party may have a chance to make oral arguments before the District Court of Appeals. The court will review your case to determine whether your arguments are valid or not.

The appellate court can:

  • Overturn the trial court’s ruling
  • Determine that the ruling was properly made
  • Forward the case to the trial court to issue a new ruling based on the appellate court’s opinion

If you are considering appealing the divorce judgment, do not hesitate to discuss your options with an experienced divorce attorney in Orlando. Our Orlando family law attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law can help you understand the legal procedures and rules surrounding the appeal process. Call at 407-377-6399 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.


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