Divorce Family Law Modification to Family Court Orders

Appealing a Divorce Settlement

Either spouse is able to appeal a court’s decision on the divorce judgment – regardless of if the settlement came through settlement agreement or a court. Certain decisions, certain rights, and certain obligations are able to be challenged.

Quick Note

While either spouse is able to appeal a court’s decision to a higher court, it’s unusual for the appeals court to overturn the initial decision.

Appeal a Divorce Settlement

If you disagree with the ruling and decide to appeal it, your lawyer will file a brief containing your legal argument tat the court judge incorrectly applied the law when making his or her decision. The opposing side will file their brief stating the trial judge was correct in making his or her decision. Appeals court is heavily reliant on the “record,” which is a written version of what occurred in the first trial and new evidence is usually not introduced during the appeal. Because of this, the success of appealing depends on what occurred during the trial. After the appeals court makes its decision, you are not able to appeal it further.

It’s important to remember that you cannot appeal an agreement if you agree to it. So if you are in agreement regarding property, child support, etc…and that agreement is approved and then finalized by a judge, you are usually stuck with the terms decided to in that agreement. If you’re still in disagreement with anything in the settlement, you are are able to modify the divorce judgment.

Modifying a Divorce Settlement

After a divorce judgment has been entered, you’re still able to change certain aspects of it including: child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, child support, and alimony (spousal support). This is called a “motion to modify” the divorce judgment. You will usually file this in the same court where the divorce was originally filed and thus where the judgment was issued.


Source: FindLaw, Appeals and Motions to Modify the Divorce Judgment, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550