Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

After a final judgment is entered in a Florida child custody case, the parties have the opportunity to file what is called a motion for rehearing or reconsideration. This motion calls the court’s attention to evidence or law which may have been overlooked or misinterpreted by the court. If the court decides that a rehearing or reconsideration is warranted, it may enter an amended final judgment, but the court must conduct a hearing first as explained in Thomas v. Cromer, 3D18-140 (Fla. 3d DCA June 12, 2019).

In this Florida paternity case, the parties disagreed regarding a parenting plan and child support. Therefore a trial was held, and the court entered a final judgment establishing a parenting plan and child support. The mother thereafter filed a motion for reconsideration or rehearing, specifically challenging only the child support provisions of the final judgment. She also submitted a proposed amended final judgment and a proposed parenting plan. Without a hearing, the trial court entered an amended final judgment and subsequently adopted the mother’s proposed amended parenting plan which severely restricted the father’s time-sharing.

The father appealed, citing a violation of his due process rights. The appellate court agreed that where no hearing was held on the mother’s motion for reconsideration before the amended judgment was entered, and where his time-sharing was affected without notice or a hearing, the trial court violated the father’s due process rights. The case was therefore remanded to the trial court with instructions to vacate the amended final judgment and to hold a hearing on the mother’s motion for reconsideration.

Due process is an important part of a Florida family law case. The best way to protect your right to due process is likely to have a Miami family law attorney assisting you with your case. Set a consultation to go over the specific details of your case, and learn how an attorney can help you.