If you have endured the emotional and financial costs of a family law trial, only to find that the court rules against you, even though you believe you had a strong case, you still have options. Your family court lawyer in California can still appeal the decision and continue to press your case. In answering the following three common questions, we will provide you with the basic information you need to launch a successful family court appeal.
How do you appeal a Family Court decision?
From the time you receive the unfavorable decision from the family court, you have a limited time to file your appeal. Your lawyer will file the Notice of Appeal – this must be done within 60 to 180 days from the date of the original judgment. The critical thing to remember is that an appeal is not a retrial. You can’t use the opportunity to present your case again and hope that the appellate court justices will reach a different decision from the family court judge. You cannot offer new evidence or reframe your original argument. The only thing you can do in an appeal is offer proof that the family court was either prejudiced against you or made legal errors during its deliberations.
How long do custody appeals take?
Custody appeals take time. The court date usually takes place several weeks after the initial filing. Then, it could take several months to get a final decision from the justices. The time taken to reach a decision will depend on the evidence your lawyer presents to prove the family court’s errors, as well as the demands of the justices’ schedule. There is no way to speed up the process. The only thing that can be done is to file the appeal, present the argument and then be patient.
What is the average cost of an appeal?
There is no one predictable cost for an appeal. It will depend on your lawyer’s rates, the complexity of the case, and the size of the record. Some cases may end up totaling $10,000, others much more. Your specific circumstances would have to be considered to estimate costs.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of a custody case, your best bet is to engage the services of a family court lawyer in California with experience presenting arguments in appeals court. Contact Westover Law and book a consultation with one of our family court lawyers in California.