Most understand that a court enters a judgment after a contested divorce or family law matter results in a trial. In the judgment, the court enters a ruling in terms of the result of the case. The case outcome binds the parties in terms of what must happen.
What Kinds of Rulings Can A Court Make?
If there is a divorce with children, for example, the court has to enter an order in all kinds of areas, including:
1.) Whether to grant the divorce;
2.) How to divide marital property and debt between the parties;
3.) If there are children, the court has to enter a ruling regarding legal and physical custody–and the custody schedule itself;
4.) Child support and the payment of expenses for the children;
5.) Whether one of the parties needs spousal maintenance;
6.) The allocation of attorney’s fees and court costs.
Obviously, in other family law matters, the court enters rulings on whatever is before them. Such orders can vary based on whether it is a paternity case, adoption, motion to modify, contempt, or other family law case.
What Are Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law?
Findings of fact and conclusions of law explain why the court decided the way they did. In other words, if facts were impactful on the court in the areas above, they might denote those facts in the judgment. If the court also finds one of the parties not credible on various points, they might explain why.
In terms of the law, the court might also denote in the judgment what statutes or case law they relied on in the decision. It might be that a particular case or statute was impactful regarding why they did what they did.
Why Are Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Important?
Findings of fact and conclusions of law are essential because they give the “why” behind the court’s decision. Many parties want to understand the rationale behind the court’s judgment. Further, if one or both parties wish to appeal the decision, findings of fact and conclusions of law are essential for appellate review. Without them, it might be hard for an appellate court to find that a trial court abused its discretion or erred as a matter of law.
To get them, parties often have to request findings of fact and conclusions of law before trial. Otherwise, they may have a hard time appealing the decision. Of course, the requirements here can vary by state and locality. Nonetheless, it is vital to request findings of fact and conclusions of law where necessary.
If you are going through a divorce or family law matter where findings of fact and concussions of law are essential, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can call us at 855-805-0595 or contact our Indianapolis Family Law Attorneys online.