Divorce Appeal or Motion For Reconsideration Attorney in Union County NJ
Divorce Appeals Attorney serving clients in Linden, Cranford, Elizabeth, and across Union County
The decision to file for divorce, and the process of doing so, has implications on the emotional, family, and sometimes professional lives of the parties involved. Navigating this process while taking care of oneself during the proceedings can be a tough act to juggle.
One often misunderstood legal-specific is correctly identifying whether to file for an appeal or a motion to reconsider in the case that an unsatisfactory court ruling is reached. These two paths that are similar but not equal under New Jersey law, and they often confuse divorce participants and lead to wasted time and money pursuing an incorrect appellate route.
The best course of action is to have the support of a law firm to provide guidance in the case of an unsatisfactory ruling by the Family Part, Superior Court of New Jersey, the ruling body in divorces, or in the case that a participant believes that there has been some legal error committed by the ruling judge resulting in an unsatisfactory ruling.
Appeal vs. Motion for Reconsideration in NJ Divorce
One may file for appeal in the case that they are unsatisfied with the decision of the lower court. An appeal is heard by the Appellate Division of the New Jersey court. This is the most common course of action for a participant who does not agree with the court’s opinion.
Contrarily, a motion for reconsideration is not filed in the case that a participant is not satisfied with the court’s ruling. According to Rule 4:50-1, a motion for reconsideration is utilized in the case of a rare instance that would make the ruling void, such as extraordinary error, or rulings that are unjust because of a legal error on the part of the judge, not simply because the ruling is deemed unsatisfactory by one party. As noted, this includes factual or legal errors committed by the ruling judge.
Therefore, when one party disagrees with the court’s ruling, their next step is generally to file for an appeal. It is a request for a review of the ruling opinion, not a request for a review of the facts or procedure of the case.
It must be noted that the law most often favors the finality of the court’s ruling. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances or impressive evidence provided by the appellant, lower court rulings are very rarely reversed. More likely, an appellate court could loosen interpretation of a lower court’s ruling and modify payment terms. In some cases, an appellate court finds that evidence was entered into the divorce proceeding that should not have been admitted. In this case, the court would return the case to the same Superior Court, Family Part that ruled on the case earlier, and the case would be retried.
Motion to Reconsider Based on a Legal Error During Divorce
If there is a legal error committed by the judge during the lower court’s hearing of the case that leads to an unsatisfactory ruling, a motion to reconsider would be the proper line of action. As noted in D’Atria v. D’Atria, the motion to reconsider “is a matter within the sound discretion of the Court, to be exercised in the interest of justice,” according to a summary of the case by Justia. Motions to reconsider usually must be filed within ten days of the lower court’s ruling.
Contact a Linden Divorce Attorney to navigate your specific situation
If you are unsatisfied with the ruling of your divorce proceeding or believe that a legal error has been made leading to an unsatisfactory ruling, please contact our law office.
Attorney Edward Cooper will carefully explain and help you understand why to go on a particular direction of your divorce case on your behalf. He will consider all possible circumstances regarding your specific situation and will point out the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the best options to proceed. You will be constantly informed on anything that unfolds about your case and will make sure that you are an active part of the legal representation.