It may happen in your
contested divorce case that the Judge issues an Order that not only do you not like you
disagree with. What can you do? What are your options? What should you consider?
Often in the beginning of a contested divorce case the Judge may be asked
to make a decision about
temporary custody if the parties no longer reside together, or perhaps the parties need a
parenting schedule, or maybe the issue is how much money and
child support or
spousal support is one side required to pay to the other, or whether a person can remove
certain property from the marital residence, or is a contribution to counsel
fees required. There are many, many issues that may arise and that the
Judge has to make an interim decision on because a party has either made
the application by Order To Show Cause which usually requires a quick
decision or instead at a conference or by motion.
The first thing to do is to discuss the decision with your attorney and
see whether his explanation of the court decision makes sense and if he
is able to explain the rationale behind the Judge's decision. In other
words, even though you may not like the decision is there enough information
before the judge that would make his decision reasonably sustainable.
The second thing is to consider whether or not the Judge had all of the
necessary and relevant information before him to guide him in making the
decision and if so did the Judge misinterpret a fact or fail to apply
the law properly to the situation. The rules specifically provide a procedure
for reargument of a decision if the court made a mistake on the facts
or law. There is also a procedure for renewal which is used if there are
new facts that did not exist at the time of the prior motion but now do
and would have led to a different result had they been known to the Court.
The third thing to consider is how long will the decision be in effect
and to consider whether it is really doing harm or is just that you don't
like the decision. In some cases if the financial repercussions are severe
or long lasting an appeal may be considered, however the process is expensive.
The best advice I can give is to make sure your papers to the court are
the best that they can possibly be to avoid getting a bad decision in
the first place. Effective clear writing is a huge help in explaining
precisely to the court what is the problem and what is the proposed solution.
Lawyers that know how to tell their client's story are effective advocates.
Make sure that the lawyer that you hire has years of experience, understands
your needs and concerns and is able to explain the process to you so that
you understand from the beginning what you can reasonably expect. Matrimonial
attorneys that have over 20 or 30 years experience are going to be much
more effective guiding you through the process and helping you obtain
the best possible results.