It’s very important that you get your appeal in as soon as possible, if in fact you want to file the appeal. It can be very difficult to actually find any kind of success on an appeal. The legal standard for most issues that are going to be appealed is what we call abusive discretion. In family court for the most part, divorce matters. The law is such that the court has what we call a wide degree of discretion as to what they do. What that means is that they’re going to take a look at the facts and the law and then they’re going to generally use their judgment to do what’s equitable. There are certain things that are more clear cut than others. For example, dividing property is a little bit more clear cut than for example, whether to award alimony or for example, how a parenting claim is going to be taken up.
What that means is that the circuit court is what you appeal to as of right now. They’re really going to give a lot of difference to the family court on the decisions that they make. In many instances what the circuit courts will do is that they’ll simply just rubber stamp whatever the family court does, unless there’s something that really stands out as something totally out of the ordinary. You have to be very careful whenever you’re going to be thinking about whether you want to invest the time and the money into an appeal. Sometimes it’s worth it to actually appeal. At the same time, you really have to weigh whether it’s going to be worth it to actually appeal because it’s going to be a lot of money and effort.
You want to make sure that it’s something you really want to do and if it’s going to be worth it on your end. If you’re worried about your spouse appealing your divorce, one of the things you can do to prevent an appeal from happening is number one, getting a favorable result by presenting everything in the right way in court. Number two, by coming up with an agreement. Those are two ways you can ensure that you’re not necessarily going to get a bad result. However, nothing is ever guaranteed for the most part, with a few exceptions in family court, you just have to do your best and put on your best case or come to an agreement. That’s usually the best thing to do. Don’t rely on an appeal to fix something that you believe may have gone wrong in the family court because chances are the appeal is not going to work.