missed deadline for appeal


Can a Florida divorce judge’s decision ever be changed if I miss the deadline to file an appeal?

In some limited cases, but only when the law allows the judgment to be vacated or modified. 

An Order can be vacated under Rule 12.540, Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure, in cases involving blatant fraud, newly discovered evidence, and certain clerical errors.  In most cases, the deadline to file a motion to vacate an order is one year, with the exception that a motion to vacate can be filed at any time if based on a fraudulent financial affidavit.

Additionally, if the issue involves alimony, child custody, or child support, the court retains jurisdiction to modify the order upon the showing of a substantial, unanticipated, involuntary and permanent change in circumstances since the Final Judgment was entered.  The issue of modifying a final judgment is not simple.  Under the appropriate circumstances it can be done, but it takes a separate lawsuit and is not a substitute for filing a timely appeal.

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