What Are Your Options When You Get A Court Order You Don't Like

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 temporary 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.