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Appealing a New Jersey Divorce Judgment

As Jerry Reed sang it: “ She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft.”

What do you do if you are not happy with your divorce judgment?

Most New Jersey divorces proceed on no-fault grounds, and the state’s equitable division of property law seeks a fair division of assets. However, that does not mean there are not winners and losers in every divorce case.

In New Jersey, you can appeal a family law judge’s decision. However, the appellate process can be both costly and time-consuming. Our Monmouth County divorce lawyers know your best chances of success were in mediation or before the trial court issued the original divorce judgment.

Divorce Appeals in New Jersey

Appellate courts will review your appeal with bias toward the original court’s decision. Nor will the appeals court consider any new evidence; its decision will be based almost entirely on evidence submitted to the original divorce court.

Your only avenue for appeal is to prove the original trial judge made an error. You have just 45 days after a divorce decree is filed to file a timely appeal of the judge’s decision.

Even in cases where you are successful, a “win” can take several years and even then your divorce judgment likely won’t be tossed out or modified. Instead, your case will probably just be returned to the original judge for reconsideration!

Winning Fair Divorce Judgments in NJ

Our divorce lawyers in Monmouth County know your best chance at obtaining a fair divorce judgment is to consult experienced legal help at the outset of your divorce. A competent and experienced family law firm has a far better chance of securing an acceptable outcome than you have of winning an appeal.

Winning Fair Divorce Judgments in New Jersey

You and your original divorce lawyer have several chances to secure an appropriate judgment:

Divorce mediation: Mediation is required by the court at some point in your case. The objective is to reach an agreement on all outstanding areas of contention between you and your former spouse. This includes child custody issues and division of property. While you might not like the outcome of divorce mediation, reaching an agreement is typically better than leaving the decisions in the hands of a judge.

Divorce judgment: Your attorney needs to get it right the first time. Don’t hire inexperienced legal help, or attempt to represent yourself, and think a New Jersey divorce lawyer will be able to get you a better deal after judgment has been passed.

Post-judgment modification: Like appeals courts, trial judges are not likely to revisit an original decision without good cause, which is typically a significant change in circumstances, such as job loss, remarriage or a child’s emancipation. But, when circumstances warrant, it’s always better to seek modification from the original trial court, which can be less costly and time-consuming and is likely where the decision will be made even if you win an appeal.

Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.