Filing a motion to appeal your family law case can be a complex and lengthy process. It’s even more difficult when you don’t have the legal resources you need to guide you to a successful outcome.
Understanding the appeals process and the rules and limitations you might face is critical to overturning a court decision.
More importantly, knowing the role that your attorney will play ensures that you have the help you need to secure you and your family’s well being.
Legal Representation During the Appeal
An appeal gives both parties in a family law case the right to have a lower court’s decision reviewed and and modified. But the appeals process can only be implemented when you believe that the lower court made a mistake.
Common mistakes made by the courts include failing to consider important evidence or facts, misinterpreting existing laws, or abusing their discretion in making their decision.
The appeals process can be initiated by either the petitioner or the respondent in a case. But only decisions that are considered final may be appealed by their party.
There are exceptions in cases that involve temporary decisions related to the safety of you or your child. Your attorney will help you determine when you may file for an appeal of temporary court decisions.
Not all legal professionals are experienced in the complexities of filing an appeal. So it’s important to work with an attorney who understands the appeals process as it relates to family court decisions.
Family Court Appeals in Georgia
Under Georgia law, you may appeal cases related to child support, the division of marital property, alimony, child custody and visitation, and child abuse among others.
The right attorney understands the laws related to the appeals process in addition to having expertise in family law. But you must remember that an appeal is simply a review of the lower court’s decision.
So you cannot submit any new evidence other than what has already been reviewed by the lower court. The appellate court will review the evidence to identify any mistakes that were made in the decision-making process.
Your attorney will guide you in identifying those mistakes so that you can submit the appeal. This increases your chances of success and of obtaining the final decision you want.
Ultimately, the role of the appellate court is to modify or confirm the decision made by the lower court. However, it may be possible to obtain a new trial in some cases.
How Your Attorney Helps You Get the Outcome You Want
Consulting with an experienced family law attorney is the first step, and your attorney will help you begin the appeals process.
It’s important to remember that an appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after the final court order was made.
Also, the appellate court must provide a majority decision to approve your appeal in order for the process to begin.
The appeals process allows both parties to submit oral arguments. However, no new evidence or witness testimony may be submitted.
It’s not uncommon for courts to make mistakes. Filing an appeal is the best way to overturn a ruling that was based on errors related to evidence and the interpretation of the law.
Working with a qualified appellate attorney is essential to your success in the appellate courts. Having the right legal professional by your side increases the likelihood of getting the outcome that supports you and your family’s future.