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What is a Motion For New Trial and Why Might I Need One?

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The law in both, Kansas and Missouri allows you to file a motion for a new trial in your divorce or other family law case if you believe an issue of fact (i.e. the facts that the court determines) or an issue of law was decided. Generally, a request for a new trial asks the court to reconsider information or law that you believe would change the outcome of the decision made by the court if the court was aware of or considered other or additional information. Generally speaking, the trial judge who made the first decision has broad discretion to consider the evidence you are asking him or her to reconsider, believe or disbelieve witness or other factual information, determine the credibility of witness evidence and even decide how the law relevant to your case should be appropriately applied.

Either you or the opposing party to a divorce or family law order or judgment can elect to file a motion for new trial after a court trial regarding your family law issues. A motion for new trial has strict deadlines that must be complied with and the motion requires quite a bit of detailed information, including in some circumstances, affidavits or other documentation correcting or restating inaccurate facts or evidence.

What are the Time Limits?

There are very strict and unforgiving time deadlines for filing motions for a new trial in both, Kansas and Missouri. It is important that you meet with a knowledgeable and skilled family law attorney if you are considering a motion for new trial so you can discuss the time deadline(s) when such a motion may be due and the steps that may be required to find legal research and other facts/evidence in support of your filing.

What are Some Common Grounds for Requesting a New Trial?

There are some varying grounds in Kansas and Missouri that you should discuss and analyze in detail with your lawyer, however, some general considerations for requesting a new trial can generally include:

  • Irregularity in the process, the trial, the information presented;
  • An abuse of discretion by the trial judge such that one or both parties were not able to have a fair trial;
  • Surprise, information unknown (but for which you were reasonably diligent in attempting to find or research), and/or newly discovered material evidence, which could not have been found or presented at the trial with reasonable effort;
  • A mistake of law that occurred during the trial, was objected to/preserved and negatively affected the ultimate outcome of the trial;

What Should You Do if You Believe a Request for a New Trial is Necessary?

If you are unhappy with the final divorce or family law custody modification judgment that was entered in your case, it is crucial to your ability to exercise legal remedies available to you that you speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible.

Appealing a trial court judgment or even considering the filing of a motion for a new trial is a serious decision requiring careful analysis and consideration. If you believe that such determination is necessary in your case, please call Pingel Family Law today at (816) 208-8130 to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and to develop a plan of action to address the issues going forward!