Can I appeal a custody order?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2023 | Family Law

When you and your co-parent cannot agree on a custody arrangement, you typically end up in custody court and leave these decisions up to a judge. These decisions are made based on a “best interest of the child” standard.

A judge reviews several different factors and applies them to your specific situation to come to a decision they believe is in your child’s best interest. However, you may still feel that a mistake was made and wonder if you have a right to appeal.

Yes, but you must appeal quickly

You do have a right to appeal a custody order in Florida. You must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of a final judgment. If you do not file within this time, you lose your right to appeal.

Although you have a right to appeal, it is important to understand why you are appealing. You are likely appealing because you do not like or agree with the judge’s decision.

However, judges typically have broad discretion when deciding family court matters such as custody. The role of an appellate court is not to provide you with an opportunity to have a “do-over” of your custody case.

What an appellate court looks at

Rather, appellate judges must limit their review of your case to determine if the trial court judge misinterpreted the law or any of the facts or if the judge did not consider all the custody factors.

In most cases, the trial court judge correctly applied the facts to the law and examined all the custody factors, but they ultimately decided on a custody arrangement that wasn’t what you wanted.

This means that your chances of a successful appeal are likely low. However, if you do truly believe the judge misinterpreted a piece of law or a fact in your case or did not consider a custody factor, an appeal could be worth it. A thorough evaluation of your situation by a professional can give you a better idea of what to expect.