Marietta Appeals Lawyer
Many people are unhappy with the judge’s decision in their contested divorce. They cannot understand how the judge decided the issue the way he did and are convinced that the decision is wrong.
In some cases, our clients can bring an appeal to a higher court. These appellate courts are empowered to scrutinize the judge’s decision and see if it followed the law and is supported by evidence. To discuss whether an appeal makes sense, contact a Marietta appeals lawyer at Buckhead Family Law. We have handled many Marietta appeals and can discuss your chances of success in a frank manner.
Issues to Bring on Appeal
Our lawyers have appealed many orders including:
- Excessive child support awards
- Erroneous alimony awards
- Child custody awards
- Failure to divide marital property fairly
- Erroneous contempt citations
Sometimes, Georgia has passed new laws that change how judges should analyze issues. These laws can also give men and women additional rights. Judges are expected to keep up with the law, but if they fail to, we might seek an appeal of the decision below.
When You Can Overturn the Judge’s Decision
It is not unusual for men and women to be unhappy with how a judge decided a case. However, that is not grounds enough to bring a successful appeal. Instead, an appellate court will overturn the lower court in basically two situations:
Error of law: The judge misunderstands the law or does not apply the proper law. For example, a judge might claim that husbands are not entitled to alimony and refuse to hear any evidence. That interpretation of Georgia alimony law is completely wrong, and an appellate court will overturn a judge’s decision based on a wrong interpretation or application of law.
Decisions unsupported by evidence: Judges must support their decisions with evidence, and if no evidence supports the decision then it is wrong. For example, a judge cannot completely ignore each parent’s income and set a child support award that the judge thinks is fair.
However, judges are given enormous discretion. Sometimes, a judge must decide between two witnesses telling different versions of the same event. A judge is not “wrong” if he believes a version you are unhappy with.
Also, judges must make decisions based on inexact standards, such as what is in your child’s “best interests.” No two judges will weigh the evidence the exact same way, and an appellate court will not reweigh the evidence if it is supported by some evidence.
What Happens after an Appeal
If the appellate court finds that the trial judge was wrong, they vacate the judgment and send it back to the lower court. This might mean having a trial all over again. There is also the chance that we can still negotiate something with the other side.
In a very small number of cases, the appellate court might enter an order for our client, meaning we win without having to relitigate the issue. But that is very rare.
Obtain Help with Your Marietta Appeal
The appellate process is difficult for even inexperienced attorneys to understand. Let us be your voice. Contact us today to schedule a time to meet.