What to Do If You Are Unhappy with a Family Judge’s Ruling

What to Do If You Are Unhappy with a Family Judge’s Ruling

By Frank Vendt |

If you do not get a favorable judgment in your family law case, you may still have the option to appeal. Not every case is a good candidate for an appeal, and it is recommended that appeals are handled by an attorney because they are difficult cases involving substantial issues of law.

Two Reasons to Appeal

On appeal, there are only two main arguments that can be made. While a trial court can take many different facts and arguments into consideration when making its ruling, appellate courts are more limited in what they can consider.

  • Abuse of discretion. This argument will concern the facts elicited in the trial court and the court’s analysis of the facts. While you usually can’t challenge specific facts established in the trial court, you can argue that in light of the evidence established, the trial court came to the wrong conclusion.
  • Reversal as a matter of law. This argument will concern the trial court’s choice or application of law. Perhaps the trial court applied precedent that should not be relevant, for example, or maybe there are several cases that are in conflict and have a bearing on your case.

Appellate Process

The appellate process is different from the steps taken in the trial court. There is no new trial, which means there will be no witnesses called. At this stage, attorneys file briefs with the appellate court and may be required to give a short argument before the judges.

You Do Not Have to Use the Same Lawyer

One thing that clients wonder is whether they must use the same attorney on appeal as they did at the trial court level. You do not, and many people choose to hire a new lawyer on appeal. While a new lawyer on appeal will need time to study your case, clients often prefer to have an attorney they trust will do a thorough job on appeal.

Contact a Richmond, Texas Family Law Appeal Attorney

With appeals, the clock is ticking. Typically, an appeal must be filed within 30 days, although there are some circumstances that can extend the deadline. The Richmond, Texas, child custody appeal lawyer at The Vendt Law Firm, PLLC, will review your case and determine if it is advisable to take an appeal. Call our office today at (832) 276-9474 to learn more about your case.