Filing an appeal in Georgia’s family law courts makes it possible to have a lower court’s decision overturned or modified.
But there are certain restrictions and requirements that you need to understand before moving forward with the appeals process.
Knowing the grounds for an appeal is the first step to achieving the outcome you want. Preparing your appeal and having the legal resources needed when dealing with appellate courts is critical to your success.
Family Law Appeals in Georgia
Under Georgia family law, either party in a case can appeal a court order. Challenging a lower court’s decision is an essential part of the legal process.
Through an appeal, you can have any obligations or rights changed based on errors made by the lower court.
Direct appeals in Georgia gives you the right to appeal your case without having to request permission. But some cases are subject to discretionary appeals, which means that you must receive permission before filing the appeal.
Applications for appeals in family law courts must be made within 30 days of the lower court’s final decision. Temporary orders may be appealed if they relate matters that need to be resolved quickly.
Appellate court judges must reach a majority decision in order to grant your discretionary appeal.
Legal Grounds for Family Law Appeals
You can file for an appeal if you believe that the lower court judge made some error in your case. These errors relate to their interpretation of existing laws and the facts presented in your case.
An error in fact occurs when a decision is reached by the court that would otherwise not be made in light of the evidence that was presented.
Cases that can be appealed include those related to alimony, child custody and support, divorce decrees, and the division of marital property.
Appellate courts must deem your appeal as significant. Frivolous appeals are typically denied and may result in penalty fees for the appealing party.
Working with an experienced attorney who understands the appeals process and family law is essential to taking the right steps towards having a court decision modified or overturned.
Making Your Way Through the Appeals Process
Knowing the requirements for filing an appeal will prevent delays and costly issues. Finding a legal professional to help you should be your priority once the lower court has made its final decision.
The 30-day period for filing a Notice of Appeal and the need to obtain a majority decision from the appellate court are some of the obstacles you have to consider.
The notice must contain the information related to your case, and you’ll be required to provide a copy to the opposing party.
Your attorney will help you obtain the transcripts of court hearings to be filed as well. You’ll need to outline the basis of your appeal through a written brief and oral argument.
The entire appeals process can take up to a full year. So you’ll need to consult with your attorney in order to establish your expectations related to time and cost.
Some appeals may be expedited depending on the nature of the lower court’s final order.
Once all of the steps have been taken, the appellate court will decide to overturn or modify the lower court’s decision. It may also call for a retrial if necessary.
The attorney you choose must understand the grounds for appeal in family law courts. Traditional trial lawyers may not know all the requirements that must be met when filing an appeal.
An appellate attorney will let you know if the circumstances related to your case justify your decision to move forward with the appeals process.
You’ll have a greater chance of success in having a lower court decision overturned or modified in your favor.