Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Family Law Procedure

How long after a trial is a final judgment issued in a Florida divorce case? Usually, final judgments are issued within a short time after the hearing, but in some cases, it can take several months. This may cause distress for some parties who are waiting for alimony or child support to be paid, for example. While there is no rule that states a deadline for a judge to enter a final judgment after a trial, the delay must be reasonable as indicated in Saboff v. Saboff, 5D18-3123 (Fla. 5th DCA June 7, 2019).

In this case, the parties had a trial after which each side submitted written closing arguments and their respective proposed final judgments. After the trial judge failed to make a ruling or enter a final judgment for over a year and a half after the trial, one party filed a motion for a new trial. The trial judge granted the motion, acknowledging there was no excuse for his failure to rule during the year and a half. The other party appealed the court’s decision to order a new trial.

On appeal, the appellate court upheld the decision to grant a new trial and ordered the case to be assigned to a new judge. The appellate court relied on case law which indicated delays for a year or more were found to be unreasonable. The successor judge was encouraged by the appellate court to hold a trial as soon as possible.

Delays in Florida family law cases are many times outside of the control of the parties and their lawyers. Having a Miami divorce lawyer explain the course of your case may help you understand why there is a delay and what, if anything, can be done about it. Schedule a consultation to go over the specific facts of your case and to get guidance tailored to your dilemmas.