- Divorce means change for every family. Regardless of whether your divorce is amicable and peacefully settled or requires a full-blown trial to resolve, your divorce is likely a watershed moment in your life. Divorce will impact almost every area of your life, ranging from child custody to your retirement plan. If your divorce is contested and requires a trial, you may come out of the divorce with a decree you believe is unfair. Divorce appeals are one way you can approach your case if you believe the judge made the wrong decision in your case.
If you are considering an appeal, it is essential that you understand appeals have strict deadlines. After your divorce trial, you will have a limited amount of time to file your notice of appeal. You will have sixty days to file your notice of appeal. If you miss the deadline, you will likely lose your ability to appeal. This is true even if you file just one day late.
Another issue to understand about appeals is that an appeal is not a new trial. Instead, during an appeal, your attorney will submit a brief to the court of appeals explaining what the trial court got wrong. There will not be an immediate new hearing reviewing all of the evidence. The court of appeals will review the legal and factual issues from the trial and determine if the court has made an error. If the court of appeals determines the trial court made an error, the case can be sent back to the trial court for a new hearing on that particular issue. For example, if you file an appeal about child custody and spousal support issues and the court finds an error in only the spousal support issues, the case can be sent back for a new hearing only on spousal support. The child custody issue would not automatically be re-heard.
When considering if you want to file an appeal, there are several factors. Appeals can take a long time and can be very costly, so depending on your issue, an appeal may not make sense for you. Especially in cases of child custody, it may make more sense to wait and file a modification action in a year or two rather than filing an appeal.