Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

Preserving your right to appeal in your Miami divorce requires that you make certain arguments and objections to the trial court. If you fail to make an argument to the court, for example, you cannot complain on appeal that the trial court did not consider that argument. Additionally, you cannot invite error and then complain about it on appeal. We see this play out in the appellate case Sciame v. Sciame, 215 So.3d 190 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017). 

In this post-judgment case, the parties disagreed about a provision of their marital settlement agreement that distributed the husband's pension. Both parties argued the terms of the marital settlement agreement were unambiguous, but offered different interpretations of that particular provision. The court accepted the parties' arguments that the language of the provision was unambiguous. 

The former husband then appealed, stating the court made an error by ruling the marital settlement agreement was unambiguous. Because the former husband himself argued the agreement was unambiguous, the appellate court denied his appeal on this ground, holding the former husband failed to make this argument to the trial court and he himself invited this error by putting forth his argument. 

On the other hand, the former husband's appeal was upheld on the part of the amended final judgment that ordered him to select survivor benefits to secure the wife's portion of his pension. Since no such provision was included in the parties' marital settlement agreement, the appellate court effectively re-wrote the terms of the agreement without authority. Therefore, this provision was reversed. 

Preserving your appeal starts with having a Florida family law lawyer who can help you make the right arguments and objections at the right time. A consultation can help you get started on the right path.