Nobody gets everything they want in a divorce. But some divorce decrees or rulings are particularly one-sided. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a bad or unfair ruling lying down. Just like with any other trial ruling, you can always appeal it to a higher court.
Appealing a divorce decree
In Ohio, you have the right to appeal a divorce decree as long as a judge (as opposed to a magistrate) issued it. You can also appeal a magistrate’s decree, but you have to file objections first. The objections must be detailed and specific and filed within 14 days of the magistrate’s decision. The court can accept, reject or modify the magistrate’s decision, or order an evidentiary hearing to help it make a decision.
An appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of the decree. An appeal is a review of the lower court’s decision to see if the judge made a mistake in procedure or in applying the law. For example, you could argue that you were not granted an equitable share of the marital property or that the judge mistakenly ruled that a piece of marital property was nonmarital property belonging to your ex. If the appellate court agrees, you could get a new trial.
Fighting to right a gross wrong
The appeals process is complicated, and a mistake can derail it. Your attorney needs to be experienced in appeals to give you the best chance of success. But an appeal can prevent an injustice, such as you not getting to see your kids or being left with an inadequate portion of the marital assets.