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Appealing a Spousal Support Ruling

If spouses cannot agree on the terms for spousal support in a divorce, the court may be required to issue a ruling on the matter. Sometimes the court errs and makes an incorrect ruling on the issue that could substantially impact your overall divorce settlement. If the judge in your case made a legal mistake in your spousal support ruling, you may have the option to appeal. To learn more about your legal options after a divorce ruling, call or contact The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a consultation of your case.

When can I Appeal?

A person is able to appeal a spousal support ruling if the court made a mistake in their judgment on substantive law or procedure that fundamentally altered the outcome of the case. An appeal cannot be made on minor issues that had no determinate outcome on the judgment or in order to present new evidence to the court on the matter. The Notice to Appeal must also be filed quickly after the final judgment is rendered on the case. Known as the statute of limitations, failure to file a notice to appeal in this window can result in the appeal being thrown out of court. Talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about the time limits to file an appeal.

How Does an Appeal Work?

After notice has been given that a person plans to appeal the ruling, their appellate attorney prepares a written brief that outlines all the issues for the appellate court. The opposing side has an opportunity to respond, and then both sides present oral arguments to the appellate court. During oral arguments, the attorney explains the legal errors that occurred and its ramifications on the case. The appellate judges may also ask questions and pose hypotheticals during this time to test the validity of the legal arguments being made by both sides.

After oral arguments, the appellate judges will review the written brief and oral arguments before rendering a decision on the case. There are three options for an appellate court: affirm, reverse, or remand. The appellate court can affirm the decision of the trial court, reverse the order in favor of the appealing party, or remand the case back down to the trial court with instructions on a particular legal issue.

Should I Appeal or Modify?

One important issue to discuss with an attorney is whether you should appeal or modify a spousal support order from the court. An appeal should be made immediately if there was a legal error made by the court that seriously harmed your case. A modification should be made in the months or years after the ruling if there has been a substantial change in circumstances with either spouse that necessitates a change to the original order. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts and advise on the best option for your case.

Contact Our Office

If you are considering an appeal to your spousal support case, call or contact The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.