What if I don’t like the judge’s decision?

The Judge will rule on your case at the end of the trial procedure. Often times the judge will take a moment in his or her chambers to deliberate over the evidence that was presented; other times the ruling will come immediately. Most judges will attempt to deliver a ruling that satisfies both parties but this may not always be possible.

The purpose of the ruling is to establish exactly what should be stated in the Final Divorce Decree. Once the attorneys have drafted the Final Divorce Decree and both parties have agreed that it coincides with the ruling, it will be presented to the Judge for signing.

After the ruling has been delivered, if you and/or your attorney do not believe the decision(s) was fair, there are additional steps you can take to attempt to get the ruling you desire.

If you object to the court’s ruling, you may choose to petition the court for a rehearing of the case. Depending on the timely fashion and the reasons stated in the petition will determine whether or not the request will be granted. If the request is not granted the next option would be to file an appeal to a higher court.

It is very essential to examine why you are filing the appeal. Most of the time the appeal will be unsuccessful if it is based solely on the Judge's interpretation of the evidence that was presented. Typically an appeal is an action to consider if there was a court procedure and/or legal error. Appeals can lead to very expensive legal fees and also tend to prolong the divorce, which can be a very traumatic experience for those involved. Do not be surprised if your lawyer or other lawyers you have consulted will suggest that it may be best to not file an appeal.

You must keep in mind that you may enter into postdecree proceeding in regards to child support modifications, custody arrangements, spousal support payments, and so forth. Modifications to the original decree are not uncommon, but there are certain laws and requirements that must be met in order to proceed.