Sometimes judges issue divorce rulings that people are unable to accept. They may feel that the ruling is unjust, that evidence was ignored or that the law was not followed.
The good news is that "final judgments" are not always final. You have the right under Alabama law to file a motion to alter, amend or vacate the ruling. You may also appeal the ruling to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
Even that is not necessarily your last option. It is possible (though not likely) to have your case heard by the Alabama Supreme Court or, by permission, to the U.S. Supreme Court.Cautions About the Divorce Appeals Process
- Divorce decrees can be appealed, but not in a full-blown trial, with witnesses and evidence. The appeals process is a "paper review" — we submit a document stating our case and the justices respond with their own statement.
- Keep your expectations in check. Being unhappy about the outcome of the original trial is not by itself grounds for an appeal. Remember that only 5 percent of divorce appeals are overturned.
There are many ways to address an error or unjust decision, particularly if the judge's decision ignores evidence presented at trial. Minor errors in the judgment can often be corrected through the filing of motions in the trial court. Unjust results may also be addressed by post-trial motions filed in the same court. Everything done post-trial is subject to strict time limitations so, although you may be confused by the results, you must act quickly to appeal.First, Talk to Your Original Lawyer
As a first step, we recommend that anyone seeking a divorce appeal should first speak with the attorney who tried the case on their behalf. That attorney will know about post-trial motions and which issues can be appealed. Many times, clients are unhappy with their original attorneys and don't want to go back to them. Even so, at least speak to this attorney to ensure that timelines are not missed.
Important: If you discharge that lawyer, seek an experienced divorce appeals lawyer immediately. Any delay may limit your ability to appeal.Family Law Appeals Attorney
If you believe the results of your divorce trial are unjust or inconsistent with the evidence presented, please contact or call divorce appeals attorney Shane Oncale at 205-458-9805 for a free, no-obligation review of your case.