When a divorce case goes to court because a couple cannot agree on a final settlement, a judge gets to make all the final decisions. This may not seem right sometimes, and not everyone may agree with their court-ordered settlements. Whether one resides in Michigan or elsewhere, a divorce law ruling can be appealed if one disagrees with it.
A good and recent example of a divorce law appeal is the Richard and Alicia Stephenson divorce case. Ms. Stephenson filed for divorce eight years ago but has been unable to come to agreeable terms for her separation. So, the case was sent to court for litigation. At the end of the day, a judge awarded her a lump-sum payment of over $6 million and spousal support of roughly $55,000 per month. Most people would be happy with such a settlement, but Ms. Stephenson felt that it undervalued her role in the marriage so she filed an appeal.
Who are the Stephensons? Richard Stephenson is the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He has amassed a significant fortune over the years and has extremely valuable properties all over the country. The Stephensons were married for nearly 20 years before the initial divorce filing, and they enjoyed a jet-setting, spare-no-expense lifestyle. Ms. Stephenson does not believe the settlement offered her will allow her to maintain such a lifestyle.
After taxes, Alicia Stephenson will only see a portion of what the judge awarded her. She believes this unfair and, as is her right, she filed an appeal. Appealing a divorce law ruling is not always appropriate, but sometimes it is the only way to ensure one receives the best settlement possible. Michigan residents who are unhappy with their divorce settlement can turn to a family law attorney who will do everything possible to seek an order adjustment.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Ex-wife of Cancer Treatment Centers founder appeals multimillion-dollar divorce ruling", Amanda Marrazzo, Dec. 14, 2017