The decisions made in Georgia’s family law courts affect child custody, alimony, marital property, and other critical aspects of your case.
Courts and judges have an obligation to correctly apply existing laws when making the decisions that impact you and your family.
An appeal in family law is a process that lets you overturn a court order that was made based on legal errors.
Understanding the appeals process in family law and the bases on which you can file a successful appeal gives you the strategies you need to achieve the outcome you want.
How Does an Appeal Work in Georgia Family Law Courts?
An appeal allows you to bring your case to a higher court so that it can review and overturn a decision made by a lower court. There are many reasons why a lower court’s decision may be overturned.
In some cases, court judges can fail to adhere to existing laws or court rules. Courts can also fail in their findings of fact or abuse their ability to use their discretion in making court orders.
The appeal to a higher court must be made only after a final order has been established. Temporary orders related to divorce can’t be appealed since they aren’t final.
You can seek permission to have a temporary order reviewed if it affects an issue that needs to be resolved in a timely manner. Safety threats to you or your children may justify a review of temporary orders by the appellate courts.
The Family Law Appeals Process
An appeal consists of a review process in which the higher court must review all of the evidence that was submitted in your case. This lets them identify any errors that occurred in the lower court’s decision.
You cannot provide new evidence related to your case when making an appeal. Your family law attorney will help you determine how to navigate the appeals process so that you get the outcome you need.
The appellate court must decide whether or not the lower court’s judge acted appropriately during your trial. This is the basis upon which a decision will be upheld, regardless of the appellate court’s own opinion on your ruling.
The appellate court can modify, confirm, or set aside a court’s judgment. In some cases, a new trial may be ordered once the appeal process is completed.
Achieving a Successful Appeal in Your Family Law Case
There are some considerations you need to make when seeking an appeal. The process can be costly and require significant time, energy, and preparation.
Filing fees and other costs add up quickly. So you should consult with your attorney to decide if you are likely to achieve a successful outcome with your appeal before moving forward.
There are filing deadlines that you need to be aware of. You might need to obtain transcripts and other documents to submit to the appellate courts. These and other issues can lead to delays that make the appeals process time-consuming.
Appeals related to parental rights, guardianship, and abuse may be placed on an accelerated schedule.
Your attorney can provide the resources you need to prepare for the appeals process and know the time and cost demands it may place on you and your family.
You’ll understand the requirements, rules, and deadlines that need to be considered when filing an appeal.
Not all legal professionals possess the skills and expertise to represent you through your appeal. So it’s important to consult with an attorney who understands the appeals process.
Understanding the unique needs of your case is the first step. You’ll ensure that your case is dealt with according to current Georgia family laws while protecting the wellbeing of you and your family.