Atlanta Equitable Distribution of Marital Property Appeals Attorney
Divorce is often a complicated and emotionally draining process. When couples separate, dividing their marital property becomes an important and often contentious issue. Divorce courts in Georgia follow the equitable distribution approach when dividing marital property. This method aims to ensure a fair division of the couple’s assets and debts, which doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split. As a result, the process sometimes yields unjust outcomes when errors or other factors arise.
If you believe the court did not divide your marital property fairly in your divorce case, you have the right to appeal the decision. The experienced Atlanta appeals lawyers at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC can navigate the appeals process on your behalf so you can obtain the fair outcome you deserve. Call our legal team today at (404) 688-8810 or contact us online for a confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.
Types of Appeals in Georgia
Georgia offers two primary types of appeals: direct appeals and discretionary applications. A direct appeal, as its name suggests, proceeds directly to the appellate court without any preliminary steps. Discretionary applications, on the other hand, require permission from an appellate court to proceed. The court grants permission for discretionary appeals based on its evaluation of each case’s unique merits.
In the context of the equitable distribution of marital property, direct appeals are the most common type. However, you might need to file a discretionary appeal application if your case involves a novel legal issue or a constitutional question. A knowledgeable divorce appeals attorney can help you understand what your case requires and determine which type of appeal to file.
How Georgia Law Determines the Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
Georgia’s equitable distribution principle aims to divide marital property fairly, though not necessarily equally, between divorcing spouses. The court considers various factors to determine how to distribute marital property equitably, including:
- Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- The separate property and non-marital assets of each spouse
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or increase in value of the marital property
- The future financial needs of each spouse, such as retirement or education expenses
- Any misconduct by either spouse that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage
Grounds for Appealing the Distribution of Marital Property
To file an appeal in your divorce case, you must identify legal grounds for challenging the trial court’s decision for the distribution of marital property. Common grounds for such appeals include:
- Errors of law – The court might have misapplied or misunderstood a relevant law.
- Abuse of discretion – The trial court’s decision might have been clearly unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence.
- Insufficient evidence – The court might have based its decision on insufficient evidence.
- Procedural errors – Procedural errors, such as improperly admitting or excluding evidence, might have unfairly affected the outcome of the case.
When you consult an experienced appellate attorney, they can review your case to determine which grounds might apply and aggressively pursue an appeal on your behalf
The Legal Process for Filing an Appeal
To file an appeal, you must follow a strict legal process, which includes the following steps:
- Filing a notice of appeal – You must file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the final judgment or order. This document informs the trial court and the opposing party of your intent to appeal a decision.
- Requesting a record on appeal – You must ask the trial court to prepare a record on appeal, which includes documents, exhibits, and transcripts from the proceedings.
- Submitting an appellate brief – You must submit an appellate brief that outlines the legal arguments supporting your appeal. The opposing party will also submit a brief in response to your arguments.
- Presenting an oral argument – In some cases, the appellate court might schedule oral arguments, allowing both parties to present their cases before the panel of judges.
- Awaiting the appellate court’s decision – After considering the arguments and reviewing the record, the appellate court will issue a written decision. This decision might affirm, reverse, or modify the trial court’s judgment.
Navigating this process can be daunting on your own, and a single mistake could jeopardize your financial future. An experienced Georgia divorce attorney can help you understand your options and safeguard your legal rights every step of the way.
How to Handle an Appeal Successfully
Handling an appeal successfully requires a thorough understanding of the law, a solid legal argument, and the help of an effective advocate. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success in an equitable distribution appeal:
- Consult with an experienced appellate attorney – Appellate law is a unique practice area, and hiring an experienced appeals attorney can significantly improve your odds of success.
- Review the trial court record – You and your attorney should carefully review the trial court record to identify any legal errors or grounds for appeal.
- Develop a robust legal argument – Your appellate brief should present compelling legal arguments supported by relevant statutes, case laws, and the facts of your divorce case.
- Prepare for oral arguments – If the appellate court schedules oral arguments, a lawyer can help you prepare by anticipating likely questions and coaching you through your responses.
- Manage your expectations – It is essential to understand that the appellate court will not reconsider the facts or the credibility of witnesses. Instead, the court will focus on whether the trial court made legal errors that warrant a reversal or modification of its judgment.
Contact Kessler & Solomiany, LLC Today
If you believe the equitable distribution of marital property in your divorce case was unjust, it is essential to act quickly. Missing deadlines or failing to follow the correct procedures can jeopardize your legal rights. Consulting with an experienced appellate attorney can significantly increase your chances of success and protect your assets.
The Atlanta divorce attorneys at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC have a proven track record of helping clients navigate the appeals process and achieve successful outcomes. We are committed to giving you and your case the individualized attention you deserve, and we are ready to protect your interests throughout the appeals process. Contact our offices today at (404) 688-8810 or via our online form for an affordable, confidential consultation to discuss your case with our attentive team.