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Can Florida Timesharing Orders Be Amended While an Appeal Is Pending?

In a family law appeal case heard by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, the court was tasked with deciding a case involving the appellate jurisdiction process of family law proceedings.

Legal Overview of Duryea v. Bono

In the case of Duryea v. Bono, 2D17-4314, 2D17-4422 (consolidated) (Fla. 2d DCA July 13, 2018), a Florida trial court issued a Temporary Order for Timesharing in late October of 2017. The mother was unhappy with the trial court’s decision, which led the mother to file a notice of appeal and challenge of the trial court’s Temporary Order for Timesharing.

As this notice was still pending, the trial court then rendered an Amendment to the Temporary Order for Timesharing, which substantially altered and modified the previous order that caused the mother to file a notice of appeal. This amendment was made just days after the late October order was issued, and this subsequent amendment led to another notice of appeal that was filed by the mother.

The appellate court, then, was left with an interesting legal issue to consider. Namely, the court was tasked with considering whether a Florida trial court had the jurisdiction to an amend a Temporary Order for Timesharing, even after a notice of appeal based on the original order had been filed.

The Second District Court of Appeal’s decision was to affirm the October 27, 2017 order (the original Temporary Order for Timesharing) without comment. However, the court also noted that the amended order that was made on November 2, 2017 was a legal nullity, which is to say it can be legally treated as if the order never existed or happened.

The appellate court explained why the amended order was a legal nullity, noting that the mother’s appeal of the prior order was already pending. Importantly, the court also noted that there is existing case precedent within Florida law that demonstrates an amended order is a nullity when the order is made while a substantive notice of appeal concerning the prior order is still pending.

As such, the court remanded back to the trial court, providing clear directions that the amended order must be vacated as the trial court issues its final order.

The Duryea v. Bono Case Is a Reminder of the Importance of Jurisdiction in Tampa Family Law Proceedings

This case analysis demonstrates that a parent’s appellate rights matter when a notice of appeal is filed and is substantive in nature. The appellate process exists to provide a legal process for correcting errors and clarifying the law, but it also protects the legal rights of parties who have been aggrieved by such errors.

If you are in need of a Tampa divorce lawyer who will protect those rights for you and your family, our team is here to help. For more information about the appellate process or Florida laws on parental timesharing, contact us online to discuss your Florida family law issues with a Tampa Divorce lawyer.

 

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If you have questions for a Tampa divorce lawyer, or are unaware of the terms and conditions of a Tampa divorce, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com

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