Appeals or Rehearing
Without a prenuptial agreement, divorcing spouses are subject to unpredictability of court orders. Although the judge tries to be fair after evaluating all the evidence of a case, it is uncommon for both parties to be satisfied with the ultimate decision. When a judge issues the final order in a divorce proceeding, it can be contested through a rehearing or an appeal.
Petition for Rehearing
A petition for rehearing is a written motion to attempt to convince the judge to change the order before filing an appeal. This is the best way to persuade the judge to modify certain aspects of his decision. In a way, it is a polite way of alerting the judge to an error on his part and to request that he amend the order himself in order to avoid the process of an appeal. A petition for rehearing must be filed within 10 days of the date of the final order.
In a petition for rehearing or a motion for reconsideration one asks the judge to provide additional reasons to support the ruling before seeking an appeal. In the event that a petition for rehearing is not filed, several courts assume that you wish to waive your right to an appeal if you do not raise an issue in a petition for rehearing. This means that you may be denied an appeal.
Motion for Reconsideration
A motion for reconsideration is just like a petition for rehearing except that it applies to non-final orders. Non-final orders can be modified at any time before the judge enters his final order. This is a formal method of asking the judge to review a decision made in the non-final order promptly to avoid the need for an appeal further down the road.
What is an appeal?
An appeal is a request to a higher appellate court to modify or reverse the judgment of a lower court. In the case of a divorce, the District Court of Appeals reviews the decision of the trial court. The higher court must be presented with an appellate brief to demonstrate how the trial court did not abide by the current divorce laws. This is a detailed document that describes the law and in what specific ways the trial court judgment did not comply with it. Such a document is put together by a seasoned Florida divorce attorney.
The appeal is your second and final option to change the final order in the event that the petition for rehearing you filed is denied. The process can prolong the divorce for a year or more after the final order is issued.
If you seek more questions or answers regarding appellate procedures in divorce proceedings, schedule a free consultation with attorney Stephen H. Butter. Practicing family law litigation for 50 years he is an extremely valuable resource to anyone seeking a dissolution of marriage in Florida. Call (305) 333-7159 today.