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Understanding Family Law Appeals

Oleen Law Firm July 20, 2022

Family law orders do not always bring desired outcomes for all parties involved. While it is understandable that you may disagree with the judge’s decision in your family law case, there may be nothing you can do to undo or change the ruling.

However, there may be legal grounds to file an “appeal” and request a higher court to change or reverse a judge’s decision in your case. If you believe that a judge made some error in your case, you may need to consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options for an appeal.

At Oleen Law Firm, our knowledgeable family law attorneys can evaluate the facts of your unique situation and help you understand your chances of getting a better decision on appeal. From our office in Manhattan, Kansas, we serve clients in Junction City and surrounding areas.

Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts between partners who enter into a marriage. Prenups are signed before the marriage, while postnups are created after the parties become officially married. These agreements contain provisions to protect assets acquired by the parties before marriage and avoid liability for the other spouse’s debt.

Specifically, pre- and postnuptial agreements spell out how the spouses’ property would be divided in the event of divorce. However, either spouse may be able to challenge a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if they can prove duress, fraud, or unconscionability.

Divorce in Kansas

Under Kansas law, divorcing parties can mutually agree on the terms of their divorce, including child custody, spousal maintenance, and division of property. This process is known as an uncontested divorce. When the parties cannot come to a resolution when ending their marriage, the divorce becomes contested.

In a contested divorce, a judge makes decisions on behalf of the spouses. If either spouse disagrees with the judge’s ruling, they may be eligible to file an appeal. However, there must be valid grounds to appeal a judge’s final decision. You cannot file an appeal just because you disagree with the ruling. A higher court might overturn a judge’s ruling in a divorce case if there was an error of fact or law.

Family Law Appeals in Kansas

It may also be possible to appeal a court’s decision on spousal maintenance, property division, child custody, and child support:

  • Spousal maintenance. You might be able to appeal a spousal maintenance ruling if there were errors or mistakes in judgment that substantially impacted the outcome of the case.

  • Property division. There might be grounds to file an appeal if the spouses’ marital assets were divided in an unfair manner. However, there must be evidence to prove that the judge deviated from the general rule in dividing assets to be eligible for an appeal.

  • Child custody. The appellate court may agree to overturn a judge’s ruling on child custody if there was an error of law or the decision is not made in the best interests of the child.

  • Child support. Typically, neither parent can file an appeal in a child support case simply because they disagree with the amount that was ordered by the judge. Instead, there must be valid grounds to appeal the judge’s decision, such as an error of law.

If you believe that there was an error of law in your family law case, you must speak with an experienced attorney to review your specific case. An attorney will help you understand whether or not you have grounds to file an appeal.

What Is the Time Limit to File an Appeal?

In Kansas, parties can file an appeal within 30 days of the journal entry of the final order or judgment. The 30-day limit applies to filing a Notice of Appeal. However, there may be a different time limit when filing a motion for a new trial, a motion to reconsider, or a motion to amend the judgment. The appellate court in Kansas will not consider the appeal if the Notice of Appeal is filed after the deadline expires.

Experience You Can Trust

The compassionate and knowledgeable family law attorneys at Oleen Law Firm can review the circumstances of your case and help you determine if you have legal grounds to file an appeal. Our attorneys in Manhattan, Kansas, can guide you throughout the appeals process and help you understand the procedural and filing requirements. Contact our office for a free consultation.