A divorce decree is the judge’s final decision in a court case. It generally addresses issues such as child support and custody, alimony payments, and property division. The divorce decree will also dissolve the marriage, making it officially null and void.
Either party can decide to appeal a divorce decree. However, it can be extremely difficult to get an appeal granted, as the court places a great deal of faith in the judge’s final decision.
Valid Grounds for Appealing a Divorce Decree
If either party agrees to the terms of the divorce settlement, the final settlement cannot be overturned unless there are issues with how the agreement was finalized.
The most common claim a person has for appealing a divorce decree is that the court made a mistake with the final judgment. The person filing the appeal must show that the judge made an error in interpreting or applying the law to the case.
Supporting grounds for an appeal are:
- instances of fraud committed by the other party that affected the outcome;
- concealed information or hidden assets the other party didn’t divulge during the proceedings; and/or
- discovery of new facts that could not have been discovered during the proceedings.
For example, the ex-spouse had a lover and was using community funds to buy gifts for this person. The final judgment on income or alimony payments would most likely be incorrect. While this is a valid reason for appeal, a court is still more likely to grant an appeal based on any lawful errors committed by the original court.
Different Forms of Appeal
There are a few different ways a divorce appeal can be challenged, all of which can only be granted by a judge.
Ways to challenge a divorce decree include:
- Appeal: This is the most time-consuming avenue for challenging a divorce decree. You have 30 days to file an appeal after the final judgment has been decided. The appeal must be based on the original court’s error of law. No new facts can be introduced if you decide to appeal.
- Motion for Rehearing: This is a technical type of appeal that must be filed immediately after a judgment is issued. This doesn’t guarantee your case will be reheard by a court and a judge must grant approval of the request.
- Motion for Relief from Judgment: The motion will only be granted in rare circumstances. For example, if the other party committed fraud of some sort or concealed assets.
If you are serious about appealing your divorce decree you must pay attention to the deadlines for completing the process. If you miss the deadline, you are almost guaranteed to completely miss your chance of appealing the decree. An attorney with experience in appeals can help guide you through the often difficult process.
Get in Contact with Louis P. Winner Today
Louis P. Winner can help you increase your chances of getting your appeal granted by a judge. The team knows the timeframe for each appeal deadline and can help you plead your case to a court.
Contact the firm online or call at (502) 812-1889.