A Brief Guide To Appealing Your Divorce

Imagine this scenario: A judge has ruled on your divorce, and you are unhappy with the decision. Is there anything you can do?

In some situations, you may be able to seek a more favorable judgment that allows you to modify the judge’s original decision regarding child custody or support, property distribution, alimony, and debt arrangements.

This article explores the various grounds for divorce appeal and recommendations for challenging unfair divorce settlement findings.

When You Can Appeal Your Divorce

There’s no question that contesting divorce decree provisions is not easy, and you must have a compelling reason to do so. It’s not enough to simply say that you disagree with the judge, or that you feel the outcome is “unfair.”

Instead, you need to have proper grounds for filing an appeal. There are a few ways you can do this. One of the most common rationales for overturned divorce settlements on appeal is that there was some kind of mistake made.

Examples of mistakes include the judge misinterpreting the law, not correctly applying the legal standards, or making an error regarding the facts. 

Other potential grounds for appealing your divorce could be a showing that there was a lack of evidence to support the judge’s findings or there was another problem with the evidence that impacted the judge’s ability to rule fairly. This often comes down to the judge abusing their discretion and making an unreasonable final decision.

Even if you can demonstrate one or more of the above flaws in the case, there is still a final obstacle to overcome before your case can even be heard. You will have to be able to show that whatever the mistake or flaw was, it would have materially affected the outcome of your case.

How To File a Divorce Appeal in Bucks County

Once you have identified the proper grounds for a divorce appeal, the legal process of overturning the initial judgment and seeking a new one comes next.

The first step in this process is filing a Notice of Appeal, which ultimately informs your former spouse that you intend to appeal the judge’s decision. From there, your attorney will prepare the “Record,” which includes the transcripts and documents from the initial proceeding.

Upon completion of this step, your attorney will file an appellate brief that outlines all of your legal arguments. After being assigned a court date, you’ll be able to present your arguments about the grounds for the appeal and the relevant evidence to support your case.

Finally comes the waiting part of the appeals process. This can take several days, and the court may affirm or reverse the trial court’s decision. It’s also possible that the judgment may be modified or the case could be remanded back to the trial court with further instructions.

Contact an Experienced Appellate Lawyer for Divorce Cases

While the goal is to stay out of court so you and your spouse can make all the decisions, sometimes an appeal is necessary. For more information or to begin the appeal process, contact Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., at 866-349-4907 for an initial consultation.