If a decision in family court does not go your way, it is important to know that you still have legal options. If the decision was made as a result of an error in law, you can appeal the judgment; however, if the mistake occurred because of an error in the facts submitted to the trial court, you can ask the court to vacate the decision. Vacating a family law decision can only be done in very specific situations, so it is important that you hire an experienced appellate attorney to take on your case. To learn more about vacating a family law decision, call or contact  The Appellate Law Firm today.

When can You Vacate a Family Law Decision?

You can request that the trial court vacate a family law decision only under specific circumstances. To vacate a decision, you must be able to prove that there were errors in the facts presented to the court, either intentionally or unintentionally, that fundamentally altered the outcome of the case. Some of the most common reasons for vacating a decision include your own mistake, surprise, inadvertence, or excusable neglect during trial, failure to receive the summons and petition in time to properly respond, and when the decision was rendered due to fraud, duress, perjury, mental incapacity, mistake, or failure to disclose.

How do You Vacate a Decision? 

The process for vacating a family law order is complex and nuanced, with different time limits and steps depending on the specific facts of your case. Your attorney will prepare and submit a request for a court hearing along with all of the necessary documentation that proves the error in facts during the trial. The type of error alleged dictates how long you have to file your petition with the court after the trial court decision. If the mistake was your own, you have six months from the date of the original decision to file a motion to vacate. However, if the mistake was due to fraud, you have one year from the date that you should have discovered the deception or two years if the cause of the error was due to duress.

Because the statute of limitations differs for each cause of action and given the complex documentation required for the request to vacate, it is critical that you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. You need a lawyer that has a history of successfully managing cases that involve vacating a family law decision and that communicates with you every step of the way. Hiring a qualified attorney can mean the difference between successfully vacating the family law decision or being stuck with the judgment of the trial court.

Talk to Our Office Today

If you believe that a mistake was made in your family law matter, you might have a case to vacate the decision. Call the office or contact us today at The Appellate Law Firm to talk about your case.


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Do you or a loved one have a trial case that you wish to appeal? If so, call the office or contact us at The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation of your case and learn more about how to increase your chances of success with your appellate case.

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