Call Today 253-265-7515

Navigating the Appeals Process in Family Law

By August 30, 2023Divorce, Uncategorized

Emotions can run high in family law disputes, leaving you dissatisfied with a court’s ruling. Wondering if you can appeal a family court decision? At the Law Office of Amanda J. Cook, PLLC, we often receive inquiries about this. Yes, appeals are possible, but only under specific circumstances. It’s vital, however, to strive for a favorable outcome during the initial trial, as winning appeals is challenging.

Understanding the Appeal Process

An appeal involves requesting a higher court to review a lower court’s decision. For instance, in a child custody dispute, you might seek a review of a decision awarding sole legal custody to your ex-spouse or contest the division of community property.

The encouraging news is that almost any trial court decision can be appealed to an appellate court, and in some instances, even to the state Supreme Court.

Grounds for Filing an Appeal

An appeal urges the higher court to scrutinize the lower court’s decision and identify any errors. Mere dissatisfaction or cries of unfairness won’t suffice. You need to articulate why the trial judge erred.

Common grounds for appeal include:

  1. Misinterpretation of the Law: If a trial judge misconstrues legal requirements, particularly due to recent changes, their decision may be faulty. An appeal can seek to rectify or remand the case for accurate interpretation.
  2. Overlooking Key Facts: While judges have discretion in family law matters, if they blatantly ignore crucial factors, an appellate court might intervene. For example, if your ex has a history of domestic violence affecting custody decisions, and this is ignored, an appeal may be warranted.

Preventing Appeals by Winning at Trial

The most effective strategy against appeals is securing a favorable trial verdict. Rather than representing yourself, engaging a lawyer from the outset is prudent. A skilled lawyer increases your chances of success in child custody, alimony, and property division matters. While your ex might consider an appeal, starting with expert representation strengthens your position.

Consult Our Family Law Attorney Today

If you’re considering an appeal, reach out to our law firm. We’re here to assess your case’s appeal potential and provide valuable guidance. At the Law Office of Amanda J. Cook, PLLC, we’re dedicated to helping you navigate family law complexities. Contact us today for a comprehensive consultation.