When Can You Appeal a Decision in a Family Law Case?
One of the great hallmarks of the United States judicial system is the ability to file an appeal after receiving a criminal or civil ruling in court when mistakes or errors occurred during a trial. However, an appeal is not a trial redo. The purpose of an appeal is to demonstrate that the trial court made one or more important mistakes in the original trial that affected the final outcome.
Sometimes judges and juries come to the wrong conclusion because of errors made in the trial. These mistakes, including those in family law cases, can serve as a legitimate basis for an appeal to a higher court.
When is your case eligible for appeal?
In the state of Tennessee, an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the original judgment issued by the court. If you fail to file your appeal within the deadline, the court offers no leniency for another opportunity. The types of family law case decisions which may be eligible for appeal include:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- Asset division
- Paternity fraud
The mere fact that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your case is not adequate grounds for filing an appeal. Consulting with your family law attorney to determine if making an appeal is the best course of action, and the next step is proving if there was an error in the original trial to make a successful appeal possible. For instance, the judge may have allowed inadmissible evidence or overlooked vital information that influenced the outcome. An important procedural mistake may have been made that led to a particular outcome. Or, a bias against one of the parties may have been discovered.
Potential outcomes to your appeal
You have the right to appeal a civil case involving family matters, including divorce, in the state of Tennessee. After a panel of appellate judges reviews the appeal, they issue one of three rulings:
- Reversal of the original ruling
- Upholding of the original ruling
- The return of the case to the lower court. In this instance, the appellate court provides instructions how the case should be completed or heard for additional evidence on a certain aspect of the appeal.
Timelines are very tight for appeals in the state of Tennessee. You must abide by certain filing deadlines in order to pursue a successful case. It is important to utilize the services of an experienced Franklin family law attorney as soon as possible, or you may lose your chance to appeal your case. Additionally, with an appeal, you can use the same attorney who represented you in your original case.
At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we understand the difficult issues families face when it comes to decisions about alimony, child custody and child support. We always advocate for your best interests. If you need to appeal a decision made in your family law case, we can help. Give us a call today at 615.977.9370 or use our contact form to set up a free consultation. We represent clients in and around Franklin, Brentwood, and Columbia, Tennessee.