Can I appeal a court decision in my Georgia divorce?

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Vic B. Hill - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Vic B. Hill

Located in Marietta, GAHill Macdonald, LLC

Marietta, GA
Phone: 770-293-0940
Fax: 770-293-0947

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In a divorce, both parties retain more control over the outcome of important decisions such as custody and the division of marital assets when they reach agreement through negotiation or arbitration. However, it is not always possible to avoid litigation. Some disputes in divorce are resolved by the ruling of a judge in the Superior Court of Georgia. 

Once a final judgment is entered, either spouse may appeal the judge’s decision. It is uncommon for an appellate court to overturn a judge’s decision in a divorce case. Successful appeals usually are based upon an error by the court. 

Be Aware Of Deadlines 

An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the final decree. The appellate court notifies all parties involved once an appeal has been filed, and time is allotted for both parties to file briefs. It is critical to meet the deadlines stipulated by Georgia law or the opportunity to appeal a court decision may be forfeited. 

Common mistakes cited in appeals of divorce decrees include miscalculation of one party’s income or assets. A judge may misunderstand evidence presented during trial or accept evidence presented by one side at face value and it proves to be false. An appeal also may result from a judge failing to review all aspects of a Georgia family law statute when deviating from guidelines. 

In addition to final court judgments, parties in divorce may also appeal decisions made in modification hearings. 

Reversing Cases 

Georgia appellate courts do not have the power to send parties in divorce back to mediation. They can reverse the case and inform the trial court what is wrong. This may require fixing a minor technicality or result in a complete reversal of the judgment and the need for a new trial. 

Appeals are highly technical and dependent upon skillful research and well-written briefs. It is important to work with a law firm that has a thorough understanding of Georgia family law statutes and extensive experience in the appellate process.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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