Appealing an alimony decision is possible if you feel that the decision is unreasonable. The critical point is that you can’t appeal simply because you don’t like the idea of having to pay the court-ordered amount. Appellate law is designed to ensure that people cannot appeal simply because they disagree with the court’s decision. You must have compelling evidence that the court-ordered outcome is incorrect. If you genuinely feel that you have a case, you should approach an appellate attorney who can advise as to whether you have a strong chance of a successful appeal. You can appeal within 60 days of receipt of your Notice of Entry from the court. If an appeal is not possible, you can still file a motion to modify the decision.
Appealing your divorce judgment
Taking your case to the appellate court is only worth attempting if there is clear evidence of significant errors having occurred during the trial. If this is the case, the appellate process begins with a notice of appeal to your opposing party. Your attorney will then prepare the appellate brief, which is the most important part of your appeal. It is a written argument that must explain with utmost clarity how and why the original court decision was in error. The brief is submitted to the appellate court along with the record on appeal, which is the collected records of the original court proceedings. The appeals court will then review these documents to make its decision. It may call for short oral arguments from either side as well. It will then either uphold the original decision, order that the case goes back to court, or that a new trial should commence.
For what reasons could I change my alimony payments?
Changing your alimony payments is very different from appealing an alimony decision. You can apply for the court-ordered payments to be modified at any time – whether it is directly after the trial is concluded, or years later. However, in order for your application to be successful, you must be able to show that you are not capable of paying the specified amount. You must therefore have proof of your financial situation and be able to prove that the ordered payments are beyond your means. Circumstances leading to an application for modification of alimony payments may include a sudden job loss or a change in your capacity to earn as a result of injury or illness. A change in the supported spouse’s circumstances can also provide cause for modification. If the supported spouse has improved their earnings or has remarried, then the supporting spouse has strong grounds to ask that alimony payments be modified.
Westover Law Group is a company of family law attorneys serving Southern California. Our appellate lawyers are capable of taking your appeal through the appellate system, provided you have a strong case. Contact us to see how we can help you in appealing an alimony decision or modify alimony payments.