How to Complete a Family Law Appeal
Navigating family law cases in court can be difficult because these cases often involve heavy emotions, even in the best circumstances. Those emotions can be even more heightened if you receive a court decision that is not in your favor. If you believe the decision made by the courts in your case is unfair, the team at Bickford Blado & Botros can help you with an appeal.
What Is an Appeal?
Appeals are an important part of the legal process for many people. Despite what many people believe, an appeal is not an opportunity for an entirely new trial. When you file a request for an appeal, you are asking for the information and process of your case to be reexamined. This means that the courts will look at all the evidence presented, track the movements of your trial, and determine whether the judge’s decision is correct from a legal perspective. If it is determined that your case was decided in error, then it may be thrown out or retried. If you believe that the final decision in your case is unfair or that there was a mistake made, then you have the right to request an appeal.
The Appeal Process
In the California court system, there are eight steps that must be followed if you are filing an appeal.
- File the notice. This first step is simply filing paperwork with the court that made the original decision. When you file the notice of appeal, it notifies the Superior Court that you are appealing its decision.
- Abandonment or Settlement. In the early stages of any appeals case, you have the opportunity to walk away from your appeal or settle it. At this step, you will either decide not to pursue the case any further or you will reach a settlement with the other party.
- Wave Fees. There are several fees that go along with filing appeals and other parts of the appeal process. If you cannot afford these fees, then you can request a waiver so that you are not required to pay them.
- Designate the Record. In this step, you will let the Superior Court know which parts of the record, whether written or oral, will be sent to the Appellate Court for your appeal. This must be done within ten days of your initial filing.
- Information Sheet. In some cases, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire called the Civil Case Information Statement. This will help the court determine whether your case can be appealed.
- Briefs. This is a written argument that you will present to the courts. It will include all the facts of your case, the laws connected with your case, and why you believe it should be appealed.
- Oral Argument. Your oral argument is an opportunity to further explain your brief in person. You may also have to answer questions from the judge. This is not a requirement. If you do not want to participate, you can waive your oral argument.
- Final Decision. Once both parties have presented their written briefs and completed their oral arguments, the court will make a decision. There is a 90-day window when the decision can be made, and you will be notified by the clerk of court.
Q: What Is the Purpose of an Appeal?
A: In the court system, an appeal is filed when one party believes that the final decision in a case was unfair to them. The purpose of an appeal is to have the details and information of your case reexamined in hopes of a more favorable outcome. Appeals in family court may specifically be connected to cases that deal with:
- Domestic violence
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- A divorce settlement
If you believe that the outcome of a family law case you have been involved in was unfair, an attorney from Bickford Blado & Botros can help.
Q: Why Would I Need to Request an Appeal?
A: If you were recently involved in a court case and you feel that the outcome was unfair, you may want to appeal the decision. There are many reasons you may feel the need to request an appeal, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some of the most common claims for an appeal include a lack of effective evidence presented in the case, errors of discretion, and a law that was applied incorrectly. Any of these reasons are perfectly valid and may be effective in winning your appeal.
Q: How Long Will an Appeal Take to Be Completed?
A: The appeals process can be lengthy. The case must work its way back through the courts, which is often not a quick process. In many cases, you can expect to wait up to a year before a final decision is made in your case because all the evidence and arguments must be reexamined. If your case is urgent and you need a response quickly, it may be better to file a writ rather than an appeal. These are often for emergencies, and you may get a response in as little as a few hours.
Q: How Can a Family Law Attorney Help With My Appeal?
A: The appeals process is time-consuming and may require several key steps and filings along the way. It can be especially difficult to navigate if you are not familiar with the court system and all the necessary requirements. An experienced family law attorney from Bickford Blado & Botros can help. These attorneys are well versed in the inner workings of the legal system and will provide you with the guidance, insight, and support you need as you pursue your appeal case.
Get Expert Legal Help With Your Appeal
Dealing with the courts can be daunting because the processes can take months, if not years, to be completed. They also require a great deal of your time and attention, but they can be severely delayed if there is even a minor mistake made. It can be particularly discouraging if, after the time and attention you give to your claim, you receive a decision that seems unfair.
In these instances, you have the right to request an appeal and have the information in your case analyzed again. If you believe you have been given an unfair verdict and want to appeal, contact the experts at Bickford Blado & Botros today for help.
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