What is a Family Court Appeal?
An appeal is a legal proceeding where one of the parties seeks to have a divorce or other family law decision reviewed by a higher court. The family law matter must be fully decided and a final written order issued before it can be brought before the Court of Appeals.
The hope of an appeal is that the higher court will rule differently, ideally in the favor of the person who filed the appeal.
Some family court decisions you may appeal include:
What the Grounds for an Appeal?
Appeals are made as a result of an “adverse decision,” or a decision that did not legally favor you. However, you cannot simply make an appeal because you did not like the result of a court decision.
To file an appeal, you must have a legal reason, such as your belief that an error was made during the procedure, that the judge did not apply the law correctly, or that the judge abused his or her position. It is important to note that many decisions made by the court in family law cases fall within the court’s discretion, which can make it very difficult to overturn them on appeal.
Legitimate reasons for an appeal include:
- Mistakes made by the court
- A misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the facts
- The revelation of new or newly-relevant facts
- Misunderstanding/misapplication of the law
If you have been subjected to a court decision that neither fair nor justified, appeals give you the second chance you need. However, you will require an attorney for the appeals process. An attorney will be able to determine if you have grounds for an appeal and file on your behalf.
When Does an Appeal Need to be Filed?
If you believe there was a mistake or the judge did not apply the law correctly during your family law or divorce proceedings, you should speak with one of our Colorado appellate attorneys at The Harris Law Firm as soon as possible. A notice of appeal must be filed within 49 days of the written order. If you miss that deadline, you will lose your opportunity to file an appeal.
Four Possible Outcomes of an Appeal
- Reversal. This means the court decides the initial decision in your case was wrong and the decision is vacated.
- Remand. The Appellate Division sends your case back to family court to be heard again.
- Affirm. The first decision of the family court is held to be correct and your decision stays the same.
- Modification. The Appellate Division can change a part of the initial decision.
Parties should also know that filing a motion for appeal will not put a hold on a family court order. To put the order on hold, you must first speak with an appellate attorney at The Harris Law Firm who can request a stay with the court which will delay the order from going into effect for a short period of time.
How Our Firm Can Help
The Harris Law Firm is highly skilled and experienced when it comes to appeals regarding family law. Your court decision may not be the end of the story. Whether you want to overturn a custody decision or the size of your divorce settlement, we can help you file an appeal effectively and quickly.
With 250 years of combined experience, our lawyers have experience handling appeals or working for appellate courts (the courts which receive appeals). We understand the process with familiarity and insight. In the end, we can make sure that the facts of your case speak for themselves, creating the best solution for you and your loved ones.