How long do I have to file a Florida divorce or child custody appeal?


How long do I have to file a Florida divorce or child custody appeal?

The deadline to file an appeal from a Florida divorce or Florida child custody order is thirty days “from the rendition of the order”.  To comply with the deadline, the appealing party must file a notice of appeal with the clerk of court of the trial court within the time period for filing the appeal.  Merely mailing the notice of appeal is not enough.

 The term “rendition” is a legal term having to do with when order to be appealed is recorded with the clerk of court and can in some cases be several days after the day the judge signs the order or announces the ruling in court.  You should read the section on “rendition” and “orders extending rendition” for a better understanding of what this means. 

There are certain rules for computing the number of days for filing the notice of appeal found in Florida’s Rules of Appellate Procedure. Generally speaking, the “count to 30 days” begins on the day after the order is rendered and the deadline is extended if the last day to file the notice falls on a Saturday, Sunday or one of the few designated legal holidays. 

If you are contemplating being part of a Florida divorce appeal or Florida child custody appeal you should be aware that there are several technical rules that apply to the deadline to appeal that many divorce lawyers do not naturally know of off of the top of their head.  As an example, if the judge amends the order to make a small change, the deadline to appeal is typically not extended.  If you are contemplating filing an appeal you should strongly consider seeking the advice of an experienced appellate lawyer.  At the very least, you should thoroughly review the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, all resources on this website, and err on the side of filing the appeal several days before the deadline so that there are no last minute problems or complications with your Florida divorce appeal or Florida child custody appeal.

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