What if the judge’s decision in my divorce was unlawful?

On behalf of Barli & Associates LLC posted in divorce on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

What if the judge in your family law case makes a decision that you feel is completely unfair? What if the judge strips you of your physical custody rights, merely gives you infrequent visitation rights and requires you to pay $3,000 a month in child support, and the decision is entirely unlawful given your circumstances?

Your situation is not an easy one to be in, but you might be able to fight back by filing a divorce appeal. If successful in your divorce appeal filing, you can appeal to a higher court — known as an “appellate” or “appeals” court — to try and get the decision reversed so that a new, more favorable ruling will be issued.

There is, however, a very important caveat. If you want to appeal a previous court’s decision, you should have a full and complete understanding of the law and how courts will typically rule and decide a case like yours. Remember: Just because it’s “unfair” does not mean that the decision didn’t follow the law. Unfortunately, in the legal system “fairness” is subjective and one person’s feelings of fairness will not always coincide with another’s. This is why it’s so vital that you understand New Jersey family law, case law and the complete picture of your case and your divorce ruling before you decide to take the financial and time risk involved with filing an appeal.

When you’re certain that a divorce appeal is right for your case, you’ll draft and file an “appellate brief.” This legal document will include your legal arguments to support the reversal of your previous ruling. The other party will file his or her own appellate brief in response, in which he or she will argue to maintain the previous ruling. Ultimately, divorce appeals — especially successful ones — are not common, but circumstances may present themselves in which an appeal is your only avenue for justice.

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What if the judge’s decision in my divorce was unlawful?