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How to appeal and modify a divorce judgment in New York

In most instances, divorce is final. In some divorces, though, spouses will argue over the judgment issued by the court. When this happens, one spouse can appeal the judgment or even request to modify the judgment. Appeals and modifications can be done for divorces finalized by either the court or if reached in settlement between the spouses.

Both spouses involved in a divorce are legally allowed to appeal the divorce judgment that was handed down by a judge. The appeal will be made at an appellate court. It is very difficult to win an appeal on a divorce judgment. During most appeals, the appellate court will look at the record from the original divorce trial. The success of the appeal will likely be tied to what happened in court the first time as no new evidence will be presented in most cases.

For the most part, any divorce settlement agreements cannot be appealed in court because both of the spouses agreed to the terms, but thee court might be able to modify those terms if you need to do so.

Divorce agreement modification is more common when it involves a settlement reached by the spouses and approved by a judge, not an agreement issued by a judge. You will need to file a motion to modify the divorce judgment in order to get the process started.

Most divorce agreement issues that can be modified include child custody, child support, alimony, child support and visitation schedules. The motion to modify should be filed with the same court where the divorce was filed, and is typically the same court where the divorce agreement was issued.

Divorce agreements can be modified easily when life circumstances come into play such as an arrest, loss of employment, change in income (positive or negative), remarriage and other reasons. Modification can be done temporarily or permanently.

An experienced divorce attorney in Oneida, New York, can answer all of your questions regarding modification of divorce and judgment appeals.

Source: Findlaw, "Appeals and Motions to Modify the Divorce Judgment," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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