Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce
A party who disagrees with a court ruling in a Florida divorce has the right to challenge that ruling in various ways. One method (which is often required before the party can appeal to a higher court) is to file a timely motion for rehearing and/or reconsideration after a final judgment is entered. With this motion, a party can ask a court to “fix” mistakes the court may have made in entering the final judgment, such as overlooking certain evidence, not applying the correct standard of law, not making required findings, etc. As one recent appellate case shows, it is important to ask for certain relief that extends beyond a motion for rehearing in order to preserve a claim to that relief.
In Adams v. Adams, 4D18-264 (Fla. 4th DCA February 20, 2019), the former husband appealed an order establishing an equalizing payment as to equitable distribution and an order denying his motion for rehearing regarding credits he claimed were due to him for continuing to pay certain marital expenses between the time one order was entered and a second order was entered on the subject of equitable distribution. As the appellate court stated, “The former husband primarily argued in the motion for rehearing that the "Second Order," entered eight months after the evidentiary hearing on which the order was based, did not credit certain expenses which the former husband continued to pay after the evidentiary hearing, up to the time the "Second Order" was entered and thereafter.”
The appellate court denied the former husband’s appeal on the motion to set aside the order on the equalizing payments, but granted his appeal as to the rehearing, holding “We affirm the "Second Order," because until the former husband filed his motion for rehearing, the former husband had not requested the circuit court to credit certain expenses which the former husband continued to pay after the evidentiary hearing up to the time the "Second Order" was entered and thereafter. However, because the motion for rehearing ultimately raised this request, the circuit court erred in summarily denying the motion, which appears to merely seek relief consistent with the findings and conclusions in the "Second Order," that is, credit for certain expenses which the former husband continued to pay after the evidentiary hearing, up to the time the "Second Order" was entered and thereafter.”
The case was remanded to the trial court for a hearing on the former husband’s motion for rehearing with the caution from the appellate court “that any order entered on the motion for rehearing should address credit to be given for any future payments beyond that order as well, rather than perpetuating piecemeal disposition and appeals of future payments.”
Protecting your right to appeal starts with the help of an experienced Miami family law attorney. Schedule consultation regarding your Florida divorce to learn about your rights and remedies.