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Divorce Appeals vs. Divorce Modifications
Divorce Appeals and Divorce Modifications – What Are They?
Once a divorce decree has gone into effect, there are only two ways it can be changed: through a divorce modification or through a divorce appeal. Of the two, divorce modifications are far and away more common. However, sometimes a divorce appeal is the appropriate choice. Let’s take a look at divorce appeals, divorce modifications, the differences between the two, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is the difference between a divorce modification and divorce appeal?
In order to successfully appeal a divorce, you must prove that there was a mistake in the application of the law to your case. The mistake may have been made by the judge or by either party’s attorney. When you appeal a divorce case, you’re taking it up the chain of the legal system and asking the appellate court to overturn the lower court’s ruling. Generally speaking, a divorce appeal is a slow, expensive process.
When is a divorce appeal the best choice?
For the most part, you don’t want to attempt to appeal your divorce unless you have no other choice. While rare, mistakes happen in the courtroom just like everywhere else. When they happen in a divorce case, you may have no choice but to appeal, despite the financial and time cost to do so.
In order for the court to entertain the possibility of a divorce decree modification, there must be a material change in circumstances. Obviously, since an appeal is predicated on a mistake of the law, there is no such requirement.
If you think you need to appeal your divorce, you need to act now
In New Mexico, the law requires that a divorce appeal be started within thirty days of when the original decree was filed. The decision to appeal a divorce is a big one. If you’re contemplating an appeal, you need to seek the advice of an experienced professional as soon as possible to avoid missing your chance.