• calendar11th Feb 24 11:00 pm
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The Role Of Legal Representation In Divorce Appeals

Once a final judgment in a divorce has been determined, a divorce decree will be issued. When this happens, it signals a binding and legal end to a marriage. However, if one spouse thinks mistakes were made or there were deficiencies with the court’s ruling, it may be possible to file an appeal. For an appeal to be successful, errors must have been made by the lower court. Divorce appeals are rarely easy and can in fact be quite complicated and prolonged. When requesting an appeal is appropriate, a Colorado appellate lawyer may be able to provide legal representation to assist with the process. For more information on how a lawyer could be beneficial in this situation, contact the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442.

When Can a Divorce Be Appealed?

The appeals process is incredibly complex and limited to addressing only problems of the law that transpired during the initial divorce proceedings. Appealing a divorce is not a second opportunity to have a divorce hearing; rather, it is a look at potential legal mistakes that may have occurred and affected the final divorce decree.

There are very specific deadlines for when the required paperwork must be filed, and missing these deadlines can mean the loss of the ability to appeal. Per the Colorado Judicial Branch, the maximum amount of time to file the notice of divorce appeal is within 49 days of the final order. Knowing such rules and the technicalities of the appeals process is essential for any type of prospective appeal to work and bring about the desired result. An attorney who understands what must be done for a divorce appeal can provide valuable guidance and legal representation to an ex-spouse who wants to start the appeals process. At the Colorado Divorce Law Group, our Colorado family law attorneys can assist divorced individuals with appeals.

What To Expect With a Divorce Appeal

When a divorce appeal is filed, the decision that was made by the family court judge will be sent to the state court of appeals. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado has more information on appeals in the state. An important point to remember is that the court will typically favor the judge’s opinion in the family court where the divorce was heard. This makes the appeal process very difficult to win, but not impossible. While it does not happen often, an appeals court may move to overturn the lower family court’s decision.

The outcome of an appeal can be any of the following:

  • The appellate court upholds the lower family court’s decision.
  • The appellate court sends the case back to the lower family court to make modifications.
  • The appellate court sends the case back to the lower family court to start a second, new trial.
  • While rare, the appellate court can overturn a lower family court’s decision.

How Long a Divorce Appeal Can Take

One of the most common questions and concerns that ex-spouses have when they are considering an appeal is how much time it will take to work through. This facet of the process is yet another reason why requesting an appeal should be done thoughtfully and with the guidance of an attorney who can provide feedback and advise on the best options and methods for finding a reasonable remedy to the issue.

The time it will take to get to a decision in a divorce appeal can vary. A decision may take as little as a month to as long as two years. Additionally, appealing a divorce can be very expensive, and doing so will not guarantee a preferred outcome. An ex-spouse may work through the process only for it to be fruitless. While some cases warrant a divorce appeal, others may not. When a divorce appeal does not appear to be the right approach, another solution may be better, such as modifying a divorce decree. An attorney can provide sound legal guidance and information regarding which methods may apply and may perhaps more easily garner the desired results.

The Basic Process of Appealing a Divorce Decree

To appeal a divorce judgment, one must work through several steps. An ex-spouse, or their attorney if they are working with professional legal representation, must:

  • File the notice of divorce appeal and pay the filing fee.
  • Prepare the record on appeal.
  • Oral arguments will take place in which all sides will be allowed to present their arguments. This does not include witnesses or presenting new evidence.
  • After all steps have been completed and the court has the record on appeal and the appellate brief and has heard oral arguments, the court will review all of the materials to decide what the right course of action would be. The ruling may or may not work in favor of the ex-spouse who filed the appeal.

Possible Legal Grounds for a Divorce Appeal

An ex-spouse may feel like mistakes were made in their divorce proceedings and that they have reason to file an appeal. However, it is not uncommon to assert that one reason or another is legitimate when it is actually not legally valid.

Examples of grounds that may be appropriate for a divorce appeal filing could include:

  • One of the spouses committed fraud while the divorce proceedings were taking place, and their misrepresentations affected the outcome of the case.
  • Assets were concealed or pertinent information was held back by one of the spouses.
  • After the divorce decree was ruled, additional facts came to light that could not have been uncovered during the initial divorce proceeding and that could affect the outcome of a divorce decree.

Speak With a Colorado Divorce Attorney Today

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 689,308 divorces and annulments in the United States in 2021. Divorce is a reality of life, and not every marriage will last. If you have divorced your spouse, it is important you received a fair divorce decree. Legal errors that led to unfavorable results may be addressed through divorce appeals, and there are several reasons why having legal representation can be advantageous when appealing a divorce. A Colorado divorce lawyer at Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to offer support. For help and to learn more about how the appeals process works, call (720) 593-6442 to schedule your personalized consultation.