In most divorce cases, after a district court issues a final Judgment and Decree, the divorce is final and the now-former spouses go their separate ways.  However, in some cases, the district court judge may have made a decision that one of the spouses disagrees with.  For example, the district court judge may have misinterpreted the law or misapplied the facts when it comes to child custody, child support, property division, or spousal maintenance.  In that case, the ex-spouse may file a motion for amended findings or a new trial.  Please read our blog from a few weeks ago for more information on a motion for amended findings or a new trial. Alternatively, a spouse may decide to file an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  As explained in a previous blog, an appeal can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor.  To help alleviate the time and effort that goes into family law appeals, the Minnesota Court of Appeals developed a Family Law Appellate Mediation Program.  This program is structured after other alternative dispute resolution processes, and aims at reducing the time, money, and conflict that is experienced in a traditional appeal. After our attorneys file formal paperwork with the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the family law case will be referred to the mediation program.  From there, the court assigns the case to one of a dozen experienced mediators who work with the parties.  Although each mediator might have different methods of trying to help the parties reach a settlement, the overall process the same.  Initially, the parties submit confidential information to the mediator to help him or her gain a better understanding of the case.  Then, the ex-spouses, including their attorneys if represented, attend at least one mediation session to try to work out a settlement.  If successful, the original Judgment and Decree is amended to reflect the parties’ agreement.  Then, the appeal is dismissed and the parties will have avoided the lengthy and costly appeals process.  On the other hand, if mediation is unsuccessful, the appeals process which is suspended during mediation, resumes as previously scheduled.  For more information about the Family Law Appellate Mediation Program, visit the court’s website. If you are considering a family law appeal, you must act in a timely manner.  A person who wants to appeal a family law case has only a limited amount of time to appeal.  Our experienced Minnesota family law appeal attorneys can help you navigate the process and help you to reach a quick, fair, and equitable resolution. Click below to schedule a consultation today – we have conveniently located offices in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Eden Prairie and are ready to listen to your needs.

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