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A Family Law Guide to Appeals
If you are ever in the position to take a family matter to court, then you would hope that the judge takes everything into account and then rules in your favor; however, this is not always the case. Judges are people too, and sometimes they make mistakes. If you feel this has been the case, then you can file an appeal to have the decision reviewed and, in some cases, overturned. Keep reading to learn more.
What is an Appeal?
An appeal is a legal process that kickstarts a review of a judge’s ruling to look for any errors in its application or interpretation of the law in view of the facts of the case. If you feel an error in law or procedure has occurred during the legal proceedings, you and your attorney have twenty days from the final judgment to file an appeal or seek reconsideration. However, sometimes what constitutes a final judgment can be complex in itself.
An appeal is usually put before a panel of judges who then decide whether the appeal is to be dismissed or whether it has grounds. Following this decision, the panel then decides whether or not they want to hear the case. It is important to point out that an appeal is not a new trial; it is merely a reconsideration of the trial. The judges can then decide whether to affirm the court’s decision, reverse it or remand it, which means that it requires a new hearing or trial. It may also be a mixture, with some areas being affirmed and some being overturned.
The process can take some time. It may be several months before the appeal reaches an appellate hearing and then even more before the court makes a decision. If an appeal fails, then there is an option to take it further to the supreme court, although this is exceptionally rare in family law cases.
Common Family Law Issues Which Warrant an Appeal
Judges make their rulings based on their interpretation of the facts. They can sometimes use a precedent that has been set in previous cases, but sometimes they find themselves addressing novel issues and breaking ground on the new legal territory. There are some issues that are the subject of an appeal for a lot of people. For example, child custody rulings are often subject to appeals, as are child support, alimony, or a division of assets and debt – or anything to do with money or assets. Finally, an appeal can also be made on a post-judgment modification or the enforcement of any existing court orders.
How to Tell When to Appeal
Most of the time, the decision to appeal will be a collaborative choice between you and your attorney. Your choice of attorney comes into play here, which is why it is important to choose experienced family law appeals attorneys with a good track record like FMLT, who are located in Austin, TX. Their experience in both the case and trials helps them to seek out grounds for appeal.
Contact us at (512) 420-0555 today for more information or to request your consultation.