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A Comprehensive Guide To Divorce Appeal Procedures

This comprehensive guide to divorce appeal procedures in the state of Colorado can help you navigate the process of appealing your final judgment from a magistrate or district court family law judge. Going through a divorce can be challenging for all parties involved. This is especially true when the outcome of the divorce case or the divorce decree is not suitable to all parties involved. Your divorce decree is issued by a judge or magistrate, and it outlines the terms of your divorce. A divorce decree is a binding legal document that ends a marriage. Since it is a final judgment from the family law court it cannot be modified without filing a divorce appeal. Colorado law only allows divorce appeals in specific cases. You can speak to an attorney about your case by calling the Colorado Divorce Law Group today at (720) 593-6442.

Can You Appeal a Divorce Decision?

An appeal is a legal proceeding in which one of the parties to a divorce seeks to have the divorce decree reviewed by a higher judge to determine whether the judge or magistrate who made the decision made a legal error or abused their discretion. Individuals can file an appeal for your divorce decision in the state of Colorado if there are certain qualifying grounds.

A divorce decree cannot be appealed until the judge presiding over the case has reached a final decision and a written order has been issued. The appeals process can be complicated, so if you have questions about your eligibility to file a divorce appeal or other questions about appealing a divorce decision, consider seeking the help of an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the appeal process and to counsel you on your likelihood of success.

What Are the Grounds for an Appeal?

Individuals who are unhappy with the judge’s decision in their divorce case can file an appeal if the law allows for it. However, while it is common for at least one party to be unhappy with the court’s final decision in a divorce case, there are limited grounds for filing an appeal.

An experienced divorce attorney can help you determine whether you are likely to be able to appeal your divorce decree, because they have the understanding of the law necessary to determine whether your appeal is likely to be successful.

Conditions Eligible for Appeal

You may be able to file an appeal if:

  • The court makes a mistake
  • The facts are either misunderstood or misrepresented
  • The law was applied incorrectly

Conditions Ineligible for Appeal

Individuals may not file an appeal because they believe a different judge would have decided differently. The request to appeal must point to a concrete mistake of law or fact that was a significant contributing factor in the outcome of the court’s decision.

How Long Do You Have To Appeal a Divorce?

As with many legal procedures, timing is crucial in appealing a divorce decree. Individuals who believe their divorce case is eligible for an appeal should file as soon as possible because appellate deadlines are strict in the state of Colorado. Missing the filing window can mean that the party seeking an appeal is barred from appealing the case entirely.

For a divorce decree issued by a magistrate, divorcing spouses have 14 days from the time the order was issued to seek review by a judge in the district court. For a divorce decree issued by a judge, the Colorado Judicial Branchexplains that the spouse requesting an appeal must file a notice of appeal within 49 days of the date on which the judge or magistrate issues their final decree.

How Do I Appeal a Divorce Decree?

To appeal a divorce decree, you have to file a notice of appeal after your final divorce decree is issued to you. There are certain timelines that you need to file within to make sure that the court will consider your appeal. Failing to meet procedural requirements can prevent you from seeking an appeal of your divorce decree. That is why it can be helpful to work with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.

After you file an appeal and the case is reviewed by a judge in a higher court, Colorado Appellate Rules offer four potential outcomes of a divorce appeal:

  • Reversal of the divorce decree: If the court finds that the initial decision made an error of law, or was constituted on the basis of an error of fact, the decision will be vacated entirely. The lower court’s decision will be thrown out, and the divorce decree will no longer stand.
  • Remand of the decision: If the appellate court decides to remand the decision, this means that the case will be sent back to the original family court, where it will be heard again.
  • Affirmation of the decision: An affirmation of the decision means that the appellate court determines the lower court’s order to have been correct. If the appellate court affirms the lower court’s decision, the appellant will not receive any modifications to the initial decree.
  • Modification of the divorce decree: At times, a judge with the appellate court may find only a small part of the lower court’s final decision to be in error. In this case, whatever the appellate judge leaves untouched in the lower court’s decree will stand, and the appellate judge will modify only the portions they determine to stand in need of remedy.

Benefits of Working With an Attorney

A Colorado divorce law attorney can help you understand how each potential outcome will apply to your case and whether you are likely to be successful. Seeking a modification or stay of your divorce judgment can make a huge difference in your life after divorce, so it is important to make sure that your appeal is properly filed. Colorado Divorce Law Group specializes in handling family law cases, especially divorce appeals.

Receive Help With Your Divorce Appeal From a Colorado Family Law Firm

If you choose to appeal your divorce decree final decision, you may wish to seek the help of an experienced attorney. A Colorado family law attorney who specializes in divorce and divorce decree appeals can help you to estimate your likelihood of success and walk you through the appeal process. Navigating a divorce appeal can be overwhelming, but with the help of a compassionate and dedicated divorce lawyer it can be manageable. When you need the help of an experienced Colorado family law attorney, reach out to Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442.