Appeals Feed

What is the Downside of a Family Court Appeal from a RI Divorce Decision?

You file for divorce and go all the way through with a trial but the results don't go your way so you consider appealing the judge's decision.  Should you?

Perhaps you should if you and your attorney both review the law and consider the consequences of the appeal and whether both the trial court record and existing law support a position that the judge went beyond his or her discretion, that the law supports a contrary decision or that your case is significant enough to make a strong argument for a change in the law.

There is, however, another aspect that prudent litigants and attorneys should consider, namely the workings of the system.

Depending upon the circumstance it is possible that our supreme court could simply reverse the decision and no proceedings or very little proceedings will be necessary if the case is returned to the Family Court for additional proceedings.

One possible consideration is this.  Judges are human and as humans we come with certain predispositions, notions and perhaps even biases that relate to our own experience.  

Assume for the sake of argument that you win your appeal and the surpreme court finds that the judge went beyond the scope of his or her authority and your case is remanded back to the family court where it was originally heard and most likely before the same judge.

Logically, wouldn't it seem to make sense to you that if a judge has already taken his or her time to hear the trial on your case then he or she has made his or decision based upon his or her best judgment. Might the judge be offended if his or her judgment were questioned and a new trial or further proceedings were required by the RI Supreme Court?  It's certainly possible.

 Let's take this a step further.  Might the judge, in compliance with the supreme court's rulings, now conduct further proceedings and endeavor to reach the same result as his or her initial decision within the bounds that the supreme court's findings and directives.

The end result?  You could spend thousands on an appeal only to arrive at the same result once your matter returns to the lower court.

If you read the supreme court decisions with repeated appeals you find that this is not the case in every instance, but it is certainly a downside to consider in any appeal.

My Very Best to You in Addressing Your Family Law Issues,

Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall aka "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."®

Serving Rhode Island Families exclusively in the Rhode Island Family Courts throughout our State for more than 12 years.

Call (401) 632-6976 for your low-cost paid advise session to make sure you know your rights.