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When you disagree with a Court Order, you have four basic options: (1) a motion for reconsideration; (2) an appeal; (3) a motion to vacate; and (4) a motion to modify based on “changed circumstances,” which applies only to custody and support orders.

RECONSIDERATION. A motion for reconsideration must generally be filed within twenty days of receiving a final Court Order. However, when seeking reconsideration of a non-final Court Order (i.e., “interlocutory” or “pendente lite”), no time limit applies and the burden is much lower. You can read more about motions for reconsideration here: [MNJD Guide to Reconsideration.]

APPEAL. An appeal of a final Court Order must generally be filed within 45 days of the date on which the Order was entered. However, when appealing a non-final Court Order (i.e., “interlocutory” or “pendente lite”), you must generally file that appeal within 20 days of the date on which you received the Order. There are exceptions and circumstances in which these deadlines can be extended. You can read more about the deadlines for filing appeals here: [MNJD Guide to Appeals.]

MOTION TO VACATE. Even after those deadlines expire, you have another option: file a motion to vacate the Order. There are several reasons listed in the Rules of Court that might warrant vacating a Court Order. Depending on the reason for which you are asking to vacate the Court Order, you are required to file your motion within either one year of the Order’s entry, within a “reasonable time,” or at any time. You can read more about motions to vacate here: [MNJD Guide to Motions to Vacate.]

CUSTODY/SUPPORT ORDERS. The fourth option applies only to custody and support orders. Those kinds of orders are modifiable at any time on a showing of “changed circumstances.” You can read more about the law governing child support orders here: [MNJD Guide to Child Support.] You can read more about the law governing alimony (otherwise known as spousal support) here: [MNJD Guide to Alimony.] You can read more about the law governing custody here: [MNJD Guide to Custody.]

All the requests above, except appeal, are made by filing a motion. You can find out how to file a motion here: [MNJD Guide to Motions.]

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