It’s rare for spouses to agree upon all divorce terms during negotiations. However, most couples can resolve issues despite not getting their desired results. It is less costly financially and emotionally than going to trial. Whatever cannot be settled will go to trial and be decided by a judge. Unsettled issues rest in the judge’s hands, but you must know that you have options if the judge’s decision is unacceptable or contrary to established law.
New York law protects your right to appeal a final divorce order.
Should You Appeal Your Divorce?
Certain circumstances may cause you to pursue a divorce appeal. Judges must make decisions that follow established law. These decisions must be equitable. Judges cannot do whatever they want and must follow the statutes and case law for support, custody, and property division.
A divorce appeal is the only way to change the terms of your divorce if the court makes a decision you believe is contrary to the law. If you and your partner cannot mutually agree on the disputed issues, an Appellate Court can reverse the lower court’s decision.
If the facts of your case remain the same, it is the only way to request the changes you want. However, if circumstances change, then you may choose to pursue a divorce agreement modification.
If you decide to appeal the decision, your lawyer must gather the record, including the trial transcripts and all court orders in your case. There is a process that involves opposing counsel to stipulate to the record on appeal. If counsel cannot agree, the judge will decide what is included in the appeal. Successful divorce appeals rest on your ability to show the Appellate Court why the judge’s decision was wrong and must be overturned. Your attorney will do the heavy lifting here but can only do so if you start the process in time.
Timing Is Everything
In New York, the clock starts ticking after your divorce judgment is final. After this point, most New York counties require that you file an appeal within 30 days of the judgment. Missing the deadline could result in forfeiture of your right to appeal the decision. You then have six months to complete the appeal unless granted an extension. Most appeals take between 9 and 12 months.
An experienced appellate attorney will work tirelessly to ensure that the appeals process efficiently moves and you receive a decision as quickly as possible.