You have survived your divorce, and the judge has issued the divorce decree. You are dissatisfied. Can you ask the court to reconsider the judge’s decision?
Yes, you can appeal a divorce decision, but that does not mean that you should. There are strict rules and timelines when it comes to filing an appeal. It is also important to understand that an appeal is not an opportunity to retry the case. A divorce appeal is not the same thing as a divorce modification. A modification is a request to change just one portion of the divorce decree, as might happen if the party responsible to pay child support suddenly loses his or her job, or if circumstances have led you and your former spouse to revise your current custody plans.
Grounds on which to base a divorce appeal
A divorce appeal involves taking the original judge’s ruling to a higher court. A divorce appeal should be based an error on the part of the judge in applying the law, the uncovering of fraud committed by the other side with regard to the divorce proceedings, the presence of new facts that could not have been discovered during the original trial or some other extenuating circumstance that merits an appeal.
A divorce appeal can cost as much as the original trial, and the appellant (the party filing the appeal) might be required to pay the legal expenses of the respondent. The appellant may have to hire a new attorney to represent them in the appeal. This means that they must be prepared to pay a new attorney who has appellate experience to prepare for the appeal. The entire process can also be very time-consuming. It is critical that you discuss this option with an experienced Annapolis divorce attorney first, because you may find this is not your best option.
Filing a divorce appeal in Maryland
If you want to appeal the judge’s decision in your divorce, you have thirty days to file your appeal.
The litigation in a divorce appeal takes place within the written briefs as opposed to the witness testimony that took place in the original trial. An attorney specializing in appeals can discuss your options and help you decide if it makes sense to file an appeal.
At Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC, we provide strong advocacy for clients as they end their marriage and create their new lives. Please contact us or call us at 410.921.2422 to receive a referral for an attorney, who specializes in appeals, with whom you can discuss your matter.