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Can I appeal my divorce decision?

If you're not happy with the decision made in your divorce case, you might be able to appeal the decision -- but only if the ruling was clearly unlawful. It's important to keep in mind that appeals courts only rarely overturn a family law judge's decision following a divorce ruling.

When you appeal any kind of ruling, you have to write an appellate brief. A lawyer can help you draft and file this legal pleading. Your brief will include legal arguments backed up by appropriate statutes and case law. The arguments in the brief will attempt to show why the law was inappropriately applied in your divorce ruling. The opposing party will have a chance to respond to your appellate brief in a brief of his or her own that offers arguments as to why the previous ruling should stand. Both sides may be permitted to give oral arguments.

Most appeals court rulings will simply look at the paper record of what occurred during the previous case. It's rare that new evidence will be permitted during an appeal. If you lose the appeal, it's not likely you'll have the chance to bring the matter before a higher court, though in certain rare instances this isn't an impossibility.

If you settled your divorce out of court and it was approved by a family court judge, you can't usually bring the issue before an appeals court. You will probably have no choice but to stick to the terms of your out-of-court agreement, unless you can re-negotiate the agreement with your spouse, or petition the court for a divorce modification.

If you would like to file a divorce appeal, you may want to discuss your case with a Florida divorce attorney. An attorney can advise you of your legal rights and options as they relate to your divorce decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Appeals and Motions to Modify the Divorce Judgment," accessed May 26, 2017

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