How long can I file for appeal for my divorce case in Michigan?

I had a divorce case in Michigan. My husband told lots of lie in the court and the judge believed him! However my attorney gave enough reasons to show that he was ling, the judge made all of her decision based on my husband's lies. At the end of the court she told that she was not provided enough proof to believe me. But I had proof for everything that I was saying. I just didn't have a chance to pop up those. Our case is just about financial issue. It was a very short marriage. And there is no children involved. How is the proceeding for the appeal?! Is it something like another trial?! What is the possibility that the judge changes her/his opinion about something?! Do I have to have an attorney for doing appeal?! How many days after the judgment I can still do the appeal?! Thanks

Ann Arbor, MI -

Attorney Answers (4)

Peter L. Conway

Peter L. Conway

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Lapeer, MI
Answered

Ad appeal is an uphill struggle and quite expensive. The appeal is limited to the record in the trial court. If I were in your shoes, I would discuss this in detail with your lawyer and then maybe with a experienced divorce appellate lawyer. (Scott Bassett, Anne Argiroff, me, etc.)
The heart of the appeal is taking what was said and put into evidence at trial and arguing that the judge's decision "fell outside the range of principled outcomes".
Trial court judgments are sustained about 80% of the time. You will need a lawyer. Cost is likely to be $5K or more. Moral to the story is that it is better to get it right at trial than fix it on appeal.
An appeal of right must be filed within 21 days of the date the judgment is entered. This can be extended if a motion for reconsideration is filed in the same 21 days. You can file a petition to file a "delayed" appeal, but you would have to show cause why you waited. Gives the court of appeals another chance to dismiss the appeal.

Good luck.

I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not... more
Henry S. Gornbein

Henry S. Gornbein

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Birmingham, MI
Answered

Hi, Normally you have 21 days from the day of the final order or judgment to file for an appeal as of right. It is a very difficult and expensive procedure. I would not do it without an attorney and most cases are not reversed. It is not a trial but a review of the trial court record for a clear error by the trial judge. It is heard by a 3 judge panel of the court of appeals. Talk to an attorney but in must cases I would not recommend it. Good luck to you.

J. Matthew Catchick Jr.

J. Matthew Catchick Jr.

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Southfield, MI
Answered

Taking into due consideration the applicable 21-day time limit, I would respectfully recommend you consider hiring a Family Law Appellate Specialist to at least conduct a "preliminary review" of your case, to assess whether it is worth the great expense (at least $5k - $7k) to Appeal. You will likely have to pay a lawyer to secure this "preliminary review," but that may save you a lot of money down the road. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.

Laurie S. Longo

Laurie S. Longo

Appeals Lawyer - Ann Arbor, MI
Answered

You normally have 21 days from the date of the Judgment of Divorce to have a claim of appeal filed in the Court of Appeals. However, this time is extended when you have filed a motion for reconsideration within that time period. If so, the 21 days would start again once the order regarding reconsideration has been entered. It is always best to file a claim of appeal within this time period i fyou intend to appeal. However, if you miss this deadline, you can still file a delayed application for leave to appeal for up to six months after the the latter of either the Judgment of Divorce or an order regarding reconsideration provided the motion for reconsideration was filed in the trial court within 21 days of the Judgment. Once six months have passed, however, your opportunity to appeal the Judgment is gone.

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