How does a Judge review a property division decision in Florida?

A Florida Divorce & Child Custody attorney provides answers to the most common questions when considering appealing your divorce or child custody case.

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

The standard of review for nearly all property division or equitable distribution  determinations 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 a property division or equitable distribution order. 


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