In some cases, immediately following a judge’s ruling, ex-spouses decide to re-visit the judge’s final decision in order to modify some of the decisions made as a result of it. There are two ways to go about this: either by filing a motion for a new trial or by filing for an appeal. For anyone seeking answers about when and how to modify the terms of their divorce, call Simon Law Group AZ at 480-745-2450 today. A knowledgeable and highly skilled divorce attorney from Phoenix can provide information and help set up a free initial consultation.
- misconduct of one party
- an unpreventable accident or surprise
- the belief of one party that they were deprived of a fair trial (such as an abuse of discretion or an inconsistency in either the trial itself or one of the parties)
- a mistake made in the admission or rejection of evidence
- newly discovered material evidence that was impossible to have been discovered during the trial through reasonable diligence
- that the final decision/ruling was unjustified by the evidence
These justifications for a new trial are set out under Rule 83 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. An aggrieved party must file, in writing, a motion for a new trial within 15 days of the Court’s original Decree of Dissolution judgment entry. Upon receiving the motion for a new trial, the Court will re-open the original judgment and begin taking new evidence into consideration, taking testimony from witnesses and parties, amending or making new factual findings, and ordering a new judgment entry.
For non-covenant marriage, the above reasons for filing a motion to begin a new trial often relate to matters of Spousal Maintenance. Spousal Maintenance in Arizona is based on providing a sustainable lifestyle for the receiving party, and its modification may only be considered for very specific reasons that include, but are not limited to:
- Significant changes in one party’s income
- The current physical and emotional condition of either spouse
- Older age that now prevents or limits suitable employment
Concern over property division in Arizona is another common concern that often arises in modification cases. However, since courts tend to divide assets equally, a final ruling on this matter is often just that. For any matter that a party wishes to readdress in the new trial, it is recommended that the filing party also file a motion to appeal as soon as possible (the appellate process takes some time, and a party may not be able to file in time if he or she waits too long), just in case the Court denies the motion for a new trial.
2) When appealing the Court’s decision, the party in question must file a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals within 30 days of the Decree of Dissolution being filed. In order to be considered, the appealing spouse must demonstrate that the Court made an erroneous ruling as a result of a mistake in the application of the law during the trial. This includes failings on behalf of the Phoenix divorce attorney who represented the party- such as failure to present proper evidence- and decisions from the judge such as disallowing the testimony of significant witnesses. On average, the appellate process takes 1-2 years and requires unwavering patience, diligence, and adherence to the laws surrounding appeals.
Parties may also choose to make modifications to their Decree of Dissolution out-of-court, either through divorce mediation in Arizona or with the assistance of a responsive and aggressive divorce attorney in Phoenix. At Simon Law Group of AZ, highly skilled attorneys are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about divorce modification, spousal maintenance, prenuptial agreements in AZ, and any other family law matter that’s causing distress. Call 480-745-2450 for a free initial consultation with a respected law firm that has 30 years of experience in Arizona family law.