Court HouseThis is the first post in my series discussing child custody appeals in Melbourne and elsewhere in the state of Florida. Child custody decisions are among the most important issues facing parents. If you have received an unfavorable ruling at the Trial Court level, it is essential to understand your options to appeal that decision. Only certain elements of a Trial Court’s order are appealable and very strict filing deadlines apply. The goal of this series is to help parents understand the appellate process. I cannot stress enough the importance of contacting an appeals lawyer as soon as possible. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.

I will address several important topics in this series, including:

  • Commonly raised issues in child custody appeals
  • How the matter may proceed while the case is on appeal
  • Challenging whether the Trial Court’s decision is in the child’s best interest
  • Challenging evidentiary rulings
  • Possible outcomes of an appeal

The decision to appeal a Court’s custody determination should be based on a clear understanding of certain key elements. First, knowing whether the case is appealable in the first place can be complicated. Appeals generally involve certain common issues that can be reviewed by the District Court of Appeals. Second, the appeals process is different from the Trial Court process. Parents should have a basic idea of how the system works, the deadlines involved, and how they should handle custody matters pending the outcome of an appeal. Third, Florida courts consider the “best interests of the child” in making their decisions. Knowing how to challenge these determinations will be an important part of any appeal. Fourth, parents may dispute whether the Court erred in admitting or denying certain evidence presented at the trial. Being aware of the basis for challenging evidentiary rulings will be essential. Finally, potential outcomes of the process can vary and parents should understand the options before deciding whether or not to pursue an appeal.

The importance of consulting with a knowledgeable child custody appeals attorney as soon as possible can not be overemphasized. Missing the narrow filing deadline will result in a parent waiving his or her right to appeal a case. If you are considering this option, contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne appellate lawyer. I have experience handling appeals cases and will help guide you through the process. We also serve clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores and Orchid.