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Divorce final judgement - better to correct a judges error regarding the facts - or better to go to appeals court?

Boston, MA |

If I found numerous errors in the Divorce final judgement - is it better to correct a judges regarding the facts (is it done by modifications in the first 10 days after the final judgement) - or better to go to appeals court?

Reason asking is from a strategic point of view. Would I be able to "build" a case showing a judge was not fair and having it in the records that could help me in future issues in probate court ?

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Attorney answers 3


Your chances of prevailing in an appeal are slim to none, if your argument is that you disagree with the decisions of the judge . Judges have huge discretion, and the appellate courts are reluctant to reverse where they were not witness to the testimony, demeanor, etc of the witnesses or where a reversal rests on questions of the court's control of procedure during trial.

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

Terry David Horner

Terry David Horner


The fact that a judge ruled against you does not make him/her "unfair." In litigation at least one party ends up unhappy, and sometimes both parties.


I agree with the first answer. As a lawyer who has handled appeals from judgments following trials in the Probate and Family Court, an appeals court is going to give the trial court wide discretion in making findings of fact. Most trial courts give the parties the opportunity of submitting post-trial findings, which the the court will review and possibly include in the final findings. Appealing findings of fact will be difficult. The Probate and Family Court has a particular rule governing motions for reconsideration which must be followed. You need to be familiar with that rule. Arguments on errors of law can be more persuasive on such motions than disagreeing with the findings of fact. I have been successful on such motions on those grounds, and less successful on motions for reconsideration regarding factual issues. You need to consult a lawyer on this matter because your question raises complex legal issues, as questions regarding appeals always do.

This is merely general information and does not establish an attorney client relationship and is not directed to a specific case.


Without repeating what was already said, I'd want to know about the errors of the trial judge you are alleging. You indicate that they are errors of fact. If so, they should be contradicted by the actual record at trial and be material to your case. If the errors are not important for the court's decision, they will not really help you. Good luck.

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