Family Law Appeals
How and when can you file an appeal in family law?
There are two primary ways in which to challenge a final Judgment or Decree. You can attempt to set aside the Judgment or you can file an Appeal.
To set aside a Judgment/Decree you must prove some level of fraud or improper procedure that occurred in obtaining the Judgment. If you achieve this end, the Judgment is set aside and you are starting from scratch as if nothing has happened. In other words, you would again be married and would need a new Judgment to terminate your marital status, divide your belongings, and determine custody and support.
If this is not an option you may have grounds to file an appeal. An appeal is not an opportunity for a second trial. Instead, it is an opportunity to ask the Court of Appeals to overturn a decision by the lower court or order a new trial based on a proper application of the law to the facts as stated on the record. The Court of Appeals is there to make sure that the Trial court followed the applicable laws and did not abuse its discretion. This can be a lengthy and expensive process.