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Can I appeal a judge's decision???

Medford, MA |

I filed a motion to vacate judgment of divorce a year after divorce has been finalized. I did this because I originally wanted an annulment but my ex threatened me, saying he will ruin my life if I try to get an annulment. Well the judge denied the motiion. Now I want to appeal the decision. When I filed for divorce, I was under duress by my ex to file it under "uncontested" circumstances so that it wouldn't look bad for his green card. He also lied on the divorce application about date of separation. I was under duress. Is there any way I can try and have divorce ruling vacated and I want to get an annulment because he married me for green card. The reason I am doing it a year later is because I have gained some sense and I don't fear him anymore. He just used me. Please help!

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If it has been a year since the decree, and you want to appeal, you have to apply to the Court of Appeals for permission to conduct the Appeal. It is out of the jurisdiction of the Probate and Family Court.

    This is complex so get a lawyer.

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  2. In all likelihood, it is too late to take any action to "undo" the divorce and seek an annulment. Similarly, you are not likely to prevail on a motion to vacate the original divorce decree. You should consult with a local attorney regarding your specific facts and circumstances -- and this exemplifies why you should perhaps have consulted an attorney at the time.

    Best wishes.

    No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside, particularly as it relates to family law, child support, custody and visitation (a/k/a "parenting time") issues, including 209A abuse-prevention restraining orders (a/k/a "ROs" in legal-speak), regarding un-emancipated children, under the age of 22.


  3. You should understand that an appeal of this nature is highly unlikely to prevail for a number of reasons, not least of which because your time to appeal has expired. Also, an annulment is nearly impossible to get based on "fraud". The burden of proof on your part is very high and the lapse of time, the duration of the marriage and the continued cohabitation of the parties after you presumably discovered the fraud do not bode well for your argument. Lastly, an uncontested divorce has the same "value" as a contested one. Your ex was incorrect in assuming one would have a lesser impact on his immigration status.
    Look on the bright side: you are divorced and have been for over a year. Ultimately, you are free of this manipulative person. Trying to re-open this matter for vindication of your hurt feelings is inappropriate, will not be condone by the court and you will be churning up past hurts for no vlaid, lawful purpose. Try to move on with your life.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney

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