How Does a Florida Appellate Court Review a Judge’s Alimony Decision?

It is important to understand alimony in Florida and Florida Alimony laws when considering appealing a Judges ruling in Florida divorce case. Get educated.

How Does a Florida Appellate Court Review a Judge’s Alimony Decision?

The standard of review for nearly all alimony awards in Florida is the “abuse of discretion standard”.  Generally speaking, the “abuse of discretion standard” means that there must be “competent, substantial evidence” on the record at trial that supports the judge’s decision.  Usually, there is not an “abuse of discretion” that requires the trial judge’s decision to be over-turned on appeal unless “no reasonable person would take the view adopted by the trial court”.

That said, the trial court’s interpretation of the law is typically subject to the “de novo” standard of review.  In plain English, this means that the appellate court is allowed to determine whether the divorce court judge properly interpreted the law that applies to an alimony award.  Mistakes in law can come up, especially on issues involving the judge ordering alimony to be paid longer than allowed by statute, or on issues involving the imputation of income.

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