The process of appealing a family law court order in California is relatively simple, which isn’t to say that it is easy or quick. The most important factor is time. If you feel you have good reason to appeal a family court decision, you and your legal counsel must first file your Notice of Appeal before the specified deadline.
The Notice of Appeal is a fairly straightforward document that notifies the court and the other party in the case (known as the appellee or respondent) of your intention to appeal the judgment handed down by the family court judge. This document must usually be served and filed within 60 days of your being formally notified of the family court’s decision. There are absolutely no extensions on this deadline. If you do not file the Notice within this timeframe, you lose your right to appeal.
You then have a given period of time to submit a written brief detailing your argument for the appeal. The appellee must respond to your brief with one of their own. A date is then set for the court to deliberate on the matter. In some cases, your lawyer will be asked to appear in court and present an oral argument in support of the appeal. The appellee’s representative will also be given the chance to respond during that session. Often, however, the appeals court justices will consider the case on the written arguments alone. You then need to wait for their decision, which could take a few weeks.
How long will it take?
After the family court has filed its judgment, you have between 60 and 180 days to file your appeal. A court date will then be set, determined by the workload and schedule of the appellate court. It can then take anywhere up to another six months or so for the justices to reach a decision on how the family court conducted your case.
How much will it cost?
The question of cost is very difficult to answer. Each case will have its own complexities, and each lawyer has their own rates, and these will determine the overall cost of appealing a family court decision. When you discuss the specifics of the case with your appeals court lawyer, they will be able to offer a more precise estimation of the costs.
Do you have a family court case that you wish to take to a California court of appeals? Westover Law practices family law in California. Call today to book a consultation with one of our appeals court lawyers to see if you have a strong case for appealing your family law judgment.