If you believe that the outcome of your recent divorce in New Jersey was unfair, it may be possible to file an appeal. People may file an appeal when they have grounds to do so and feel that the judgment was unfair. It helps to understand the grounds for filing an appeal, requirements, cross-appeals, and why you need an attorney to help you through this process.
Grounds for Divorce Appeals in New Jersey
The first step is to make sure that you have grounds for an appeal. An attorney can help you determine this and if the cost is worthwhile based on your chance of success. These are some examples of legitimate grounds for an appeal:
- Controlling law was not applied correctly
- Not all disputes were resolved
- There were insufficient findings of fact
- A full hearing was not conducted to address all material disputes
- There was an abuse of discretion
Every case is unique, and some are complex. The easiest way to determine how to meet the requirements for proving grounds is to have an attorney review your case. For example, it may be hard for a person to know what constitutes insufficient findings of fact in some situations. Also, a person may be unsure if controlling law was applied correctly concerning legal documents. An attorney can decipher this. However, if there was no full hearing to address material disputes, and the outcome was unfair, it would be easier to identify this issue. The same might be true if some disputes of the divorce were not addressed. An error of discretion is an unreasonable ruling, and an attorney can help identify this issue.
Time Issues and Meeting Requirements
An appeal may not be the first step. There may be other actions that a person must do before filing an appeal or instead of filing one. For example, if there is a default judgment against a person, the individual may need to file a request to vacate. An attorney can help determine the appropriate course of action for a specific situation.
Although divorce appeals take a long time to complete, there is limited time to file them. Once a divorce judgment is considered final, an appeal can be filed within 45 days of the final ruling. There are also interlocutory appeals, which a person can file during a case in certain situations. For example, it may follow a child custody decision. For an appeal during a case, a person must show a good chance of success and that delaying the issue would cause permanent harm.
A cross-appeal is an appeal that the other party files when one person files an appeal. For example, if a man has grounds for an appeal and decides to file one, his ex-spouse can file a cross-appeal. After the appeal is filed, the other party has 15 days to file a cross-appeal. With a cross-appeal, the party filing has a chance to bring up other issues.
Why an Attorney Is Essential
Appeals are complex and often take more than a year to complete. Deciding to file an appeal is usually reserved for instances where there are significant grounds and a good reason for filing. In many cases, a person simply wants to reach the end of the divorce and move on with life. Filing an appeal can keep the negative feelings surrounding the divorce process going for some people, and it can be costly. An attorney can review the details of a case and a person's desire for an appeal to determine if it is an advisable course of action.
Divorce Appeals Attorneys in New Jersey
The appeals process has time limits for different steps, and there are many steps in the process. For example, there are time limits for filing copies of an appellate brief and filing a reply to a response brief. Since the process is complex and requires diligence for a successful outcome, it is crucial to have an attorney represent you and ensure that all requirements are met. The same is true if your ex-spouse filed an appeal and you want to file a cross-appeal.
If you are thinking of filing an appeal or wonder if you have grounds, our team of divorce attorneys at DeTommaso Law Group, LLC are available to consult on your case. Contact us online or call us at (908) 274-3028 to schedule a consultation on your appeal case.