When a trial court issues an order in a divorce, custody dispute, or other family law matter, there may be means by which a party negatively affected by the order can appeal the judge’s decision and have it set aside. This may be the case where the other party in a matter provided false or incomplete information, where one party was not given proper notice of the proceedings, or where the judge acted improperly in looking at the law or facts of the case. At the Law Offices of Andy Cook, a San Diego Court of Appeals Attorney can help you through the Court of Appeals process whether it be appealing a divorce or other family law order. We will ensure that the rights and interests of the parties and those of their children are preserved and protected now and into the future.
Process for Appealing Family Law Orders in California
When a judge hands down an order, a party negatively affected by the judge’s decision usually only has a limited amount of time in which to appeal the decision, as little as 10 days in some cases and up to 30 to 180 days in other cases. If these deadlines are missed, a party will not be able to appeal the decision, and so it is crucial that a party seeking to appeal an order act quickly.
A party wishing to appeal an order has a variety of options for setting aside the order, including making a motion to set aside the judgment, asking a court to reconsider the order based on new facts, bringing a new request for an order if it was previously denied, and asking for a new trial altogether. The appeal will have to present verifiable facts and/or circumstances showing why the trials court’s initial order should not now apply to the parties. These facts and circumstances can include the following arguments:
- The defendant or respondent in a case was not given proper service and/or notice of the proceedings
- The other party acted improperly in obtaining the order, e.g. one party hid financial assets from another party in obtaining spousal support
- The trial judge made a mistake in applying the law to the facts of the case
Submitting Legal Briefs and Presenting Oral Arguments
These arguments will need to be spelled out in a legal brief submitted to the court, including citations to legal authorities where applicable, and conforming to the rules for briefs applied by the appellate court. The parties may then need to present their legal and factual arguments in an oral argument before the appellate court, explaining why the trial court’s order should be set aside. This can be a high bar as the family law judge’s decision in the trial court will be given some amount of deference, but many litigants have been successful in obtaining such relief. After oral arguments, the appellate court will then issue its judgment on the appeal within 90 days and may award the winning party the costs of the appeal.
Legal Representation with a San Diego Court of Appeals Attorney
Given the complex requirements involved in successfully appealing a trial court’s decision in a family law matter, it is essential to be well-represented by experienced family law attorneys who can prepare and present a persuasive case that argues for your interests in a compelling fashion. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Andy Cook possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide you with the representation you need in this critical area.