If you are unhappy with the outcome of your final divorce, you have the right to appeal the judge's decision based on what you think is an erroneous decision or mistakes made on the part of the deciding party. In Texas, winning your case in a court of appeals does not necessarily mean the outcome of your trial will be modified, but you may get a chance to bring your case to trial again.
The appeals process can be a long and complicated process because the onus to prove that the judge made an error during the first trial is on the contesting party. Appeals in Texas must be filed within 30 days of the final divorce decree and in a specific format outlining the appellant's view of the case and why a mistake was made. The appeals court is not interested in the facts of your divorce case, only in the court proceedings that may warrant a new trial or a new decision in your divorce. The lawyer representing you will then have to summarize for the court the reasons the case is being appealed. After the case is decided on by the appeals court, either party in the divorce can appeal that decision or request the Texas Supreme Court review the case.
The final decree of a divorce includes spousal support and custody matters concerning minor children. Should the circumstances change for one parent after the divorce is finalized, that parent can file for a change in the custody order. The parent requesting the change will need evidence to prove to the court that the change of circumstance will affect the well-being of the child and the requested change is in the best interest of the child,. Examples of circumstance changes can be one parent moving out of the state, a substantial change in one parent's financial status or situations of abuse or neglect.
Texas is a community property state, meaning the court assumes that all assets acquired during the marriage are equally owned and that property and assets are split in half between parties. However, one party's poor actions during the marriage and unequal financial statuses can affect how much property is awarded to whom.The appeals process can also be a bargaining chip for the spouse who has been ordered to pay spousal support, or alimony. Because of the lengthy process of an appeal, and the fact that winning an appeal means having to go through the time and expense of another trial, both parties have to decide if it is in their best interest to negotiate and settle out of court.
- The Court of Appeals for the state of New York in Albany image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com