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Why Appeal a Divorce?
When I was getting divorced, my husband tried to figure out how he could appeal a divorce.
When he went to talk to a lawyer, the lawyer asked, “What is she asking for?”
Well, I can tell you that I had agreed to take all the debt, leave him all the stuff, and insisted on 50/50 custody. What my husband wanted was for me to not proceed with the divorce. That is not a reason to appeal a divorce.
Appealing a divorce does NOT mean forcing someone to change their mind about the divorce.
An appeal happens after a divorce becomes final. The final documents can be the result of a settlement agreement or after a court decision. The appeal is an opportunity to challenge certain decisions made by the court or change certain rights and obligations set out in the final divorce judgment.
In New Mexico, the appeal deadline is 30 days after the judgment is made.
Reason to appeal a divorce
Either party can file an appeal, but only with substantiated cause.
Most common grounds for appealing a divorce: A mistake/error in law or process of determining facts that was committed by the judge or the lower court. The party filing for appeal must usually show that the judge made some sort of error in applying or interpreting the law.
Other common grounds that might support an appeal include:
- Instances of fraud committed by the opposing in connection with court proceedings
- Concealment of assets or other important information by the opposing party
- The discovery of new facts that could not be discovered during the original proceedings
It is very important that the initial filing of a divorce contains all pertinent information so an appeal is not needed later. Appeals are very expensive due to the amount of work involved to prove that a judge reached an erroneous decision.
As discussed in a previous blog. The legal system, lawyers and judges alike, encourage the use of mediation. Mediation works to establish terms of divorce that are equally agreeable and beneficial for both parties in a divorce.