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Amending a Time-Sharing Order While an Appeal is Pending

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Recently, one of Florida’s appeals courts issued an opinion on the appellate jurisdiction process of family law proceedings that could have an important impact on similar cases going forward. To find out more about how this decision could affect your own case, please contact a member of our dedicated child custody legal team today.

Modifying a Time-Sharing Agreement During an Appeal  

The case of Duryea v. Bono involved two parents who, while going through a divorce, were issued a Temporary Order for Timesharing. The mother was unhappy with the order and so filed a notice of appeal and challenge. However, while the initial appeal was pending, the trial court issued a new order that significantly changed the temporary order. The child’s mother then initiated another appeal based on the amended order.

A Florida district court of appeals was later tasked with determining whether trial courts have jurisdiction to amend temporary time sharing orders after a notice of appeal has already been filed by one of the child’s parents. In its decision, the appeals court confirmed that existing case law in Florida states that amended orders are treated as legal nullities when they are made while a substantive appeal concerning that order is already pending. The court went on to affirm the original temporary order and explained that the amended order was a legal nullity, meaning that it could be treated as though it never existed because the mother’s appeal of the prior order was already pending when it was issued. Finally, the court remanded the case back to the lower court, giving clear directions to vacate the amended order before issuing a final order.

Why This Case Matters  

The opinion recently published by the Second District Court of Appeals acts as a clear reminder that a parent’s rights are extremely important when it comes to filing a notice of appeal, as long as the appeal is substantive and not procedural in nature. Furthermore, while the appellate process was created to help clarify the law and correct legal errors, it also protects the rights of parties affected by the errors. Unfortunately, navigating the appeals process can be difficult, especially for those who are not represented by an attorney, so if you are going through a divorce and a judge recently issued a temporary or final time sharing order that you believe is unfair or not in your child’s best interests, it is critical to consult with an experienced child custody attorney who is well-versed in state law and can ensure that your interests are protected.

Call Today for Legal Assistance  

If you are in need of a Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer who will protect your family’s rights, our team can help. For more information on the appellate process or Florida’s laws on time sharing, please call 954-945-7591 and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a free case evaluation with experienced Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A.  You can also reach us by completing one of our brief online contact forms.

Resource:

edca.2dca.org/DCADocs/2017/4314/174314_65_07132018_08374643_i.pdf

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