Jump to Navigation
Bruce R. Bryan

Divorce / Custody


The area of domestic relations often gives rise to appeals by one party or the other regarding decisions of the trial court on such things as the equitable distribution of property and child custody.


Divorce Appeals

Statutes and case law affect the distribution of property upon divorce. A trial court may have been called upon to determine whether particular property constituted “marital property” or separate property. A court may have also determined the use and occupancy of the marital residence. A court may have further determined interests in a pension, retirement, or employee benefit plan. A court may have decided upon the division of a business or professional practice. Issues also arise regarding the valuation of property.

Factors that can affect the distribution of property include the financial circumstances of the parties, the length of the marriage and age and health of the parties, a custodial parent’s need for the marital residence, the loss of inheritance and pension rights, the possible need for a maintenance award, an equitable claim to marital property, whether there was a contribution to the other spouse’s  career or career potential, the desirability of keeping assets intact, the tax consequences to the parties of the distribution, any wasteful dissipation of assets, and transfers or encumbrances without fair consideration. An appeal also may involve claims that the trial court erroneously introduced evidence, or excluded evidence from a trial or hearing.


Custody Appeals

 An appeal may also challenge a trial court’s decision to award custody to a party, or the extent of visitation. Appeals may further challenge decisions to modify or change custody. In general, a decision on custody is governed by the “best interest of the child” standard. In determining custody, a court may consider many factors, including any agreement between the parents regarding custody, the stability of a custodial arrangement, the need to avoid disruption for the child, the age and sex of the child, the relative financial positions of the parents, the opportunity for the child to maintain contact with the non-custodial parent, the wishes of the child, conduct of a parent that is deemed harmful to the child, and whether a parent is fit to be the custodial parent.

Issues may also arise regarding the desire of a custodial parent to move at a distance from the non-custodial parent, thereby affecting the non-custodial parent’s right to visitation. Grandparents and third-persons may have also sought visitation or custodial rights.

Divorce and custody may also involve issues of fairness in the manner in which the trial or hearing was conducted, or whether the trial court made correct legal rulings. For example, a party may claim that the trial court erred in the introduction of prejudicial evidence, or the exclusion of beneficial evidence.


Contact Appeals Lawyer Bruce R. Bryan

Appeals lawyer Bruce R. Bryan has the background and experience to handle your divorce or custody appeal. With more than 20 years as an appeals lawyer, Mr. Bryan has handled a variety of civil appeals.

In addition to his full-time practice as an appeals lawyer, Mr. Bryan is an Adjunct Professor of Appellate Advocacy at Cornell Law School, an Ivy League law school. He also teaches other lawyers about appeals to federal and state appeals courts. Mr. Bryan has appeared before state appeals courts, federal circuit courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States.

To retain Mr. Bryan to handle your divorce or custody appeal, or a case in one of his related areas of practice, please contact him at his office in Syracuse, New York by calling 315-280-8790 to request a consultation.

B. Bryan, "Defendant's Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York," (2005)

Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York | Bryan Criminal Appeals Lawyer NY

The object of appellate advocacy is to persuade. The winning advocate focuses the court on the strength of your case. Read More

Cornell Adjunct Professor of Law

Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York | Bryan Criminal Appeals Lawyer NY

As an adjunct faculty, Professor Bryan teaches "Advanced Persuasive Writing and Appellate Advocacy" to second and third year law students at Cornell Law School. Read More