Although most people only think of criminal cases when they think of appeals, family law cases can be appealed as well. When you receive a ruling that you find unreasonable or unfair in a family law matter, you may wish to pursue an appeal.
When determining whether to appeal, you should begin by considering if you are within the time frame to appeal, and next, whether you have grounds to appeal.
Is my appeal timely?
The general rule is that you must file an appeal within thirty (30) days of your final order in your family law case. This is a critical deadline. If you miss this deadline, with very rare exception, you will forfeit your right to appeal the order in question.
Do I have grounds to appeal?
While nearly anyone can file an appeal, the appellate process can be lengthy and costly. For this reason, you should carefully consider whether you have grounds to appeal. There are many potential grounds for appeal. For example, did the judicial officer make a legal error such as failing to consider a required statutory factor in a custody case? Or, did the judicial officer fail to consider key evidence that was properly presented at trial? Another issue might be a deviation from required trial procedure. While any of these might be appealable issues, that does not necessarily mean that you will be successful on appeal. It is important to look at the final order as a whole when considering your likelihood of success on appeal. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer are experienced in appellate practice and are available to discuss the details of your case.