Divorce is an ordeal. During its course, you may find yourself in situations where you lose more than you expected, including custody of your child. It is a terrible feeling to weather the storm of a divorce only to come out with less custody than you fought for. This doesn’t have to be the end, though. There may be a chance for you to change the judge’s decision.
Situations vary, but the opportunity to appeal your divorce ruling and win additional visitation time or even custody of your child may present itself. Making an appeal is often complicated, and simply being unhappy with the results of your divorce does not necessarily mean you have grounds to make one. If you do have valid grounds, though, it could make a lifetime of difference.
What are valid grounds to appeal your divorce?
When you appeal a divorce case, you will most often be doing so because you feel that the judge misinterpreted or misused the law during your case, and that was the reason you received an unfavorable outcome. If your appeal is approved, you will be able to argue this point, and potentially change the previous ruling.
It is important to understand that if you are allowed an appeal, you are not being given a new case, establishing a mistrial or modifying your final decree – you are asking for an error to be re-examined and possibly changed.
For example, say your income became a deciding factor in not receiving physical custody of your child. If the judge applied the wrong calculations to your pay and gave their ruling under the assumption you made substantially less than you actually do, you may have valid grounds to appeal.
Should I appeal?
There are several factors to consider if you think an appeal may help your situation. Appeals can be very complicated, even by legal standards. Having an experienced attorney is almost certain to be vital. The appeal process can also take a considerably long time. Whether or not you want to add several months of family litigation to both you and your child’s emotional state is a consideration you should make.
Alternatively, if you feel there was truly an error made during your divorce case, appealing could mean the difference between custody of your child and visitation.
Whether an appeal is the right course of action for you is a decision for you and your attorney to discuss. You will have decisions to make, and they will know which litigious avenues will be the most effective way to get there.