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Family court will make decisions related to divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, the division of assets, paternity, guardianship, and more. To ensure that a judge acts appropriately and has applied the law correctly, every state provides the ability for parties to appeal certain orders. If you feel that a judge made the wrong decision in your case, you should consult with a family lawyer about your legal options and whether or not you can file an appeal in Bloomington IL.
Can I appeal a judge’s decision in family court?
Some family court rulings can be appealed. This type of request is made to a higher court that will involve a judge, or panel of judges, to review the decision made by the lower court. This is not a rehearing, and you generally will not be able to present new evidence. The court of appeals’ objective is to review the trial record and determine whether or not the judge acted within his or her discretion. If the appeals court finds the judge acted accordingly, the decision will be upheld regardless of the appellate judges’ opinion on the matter.
Appealing Final Orders
In a majority of states, final orders given by the family court are the only cases that can be appealed. For example, in a divorce, a final order may include the final divorce decree, which might address asset distribution, child custody, and more. Temporary orders are pending and can only be appealed when you ask the appellate court to review them. For example, if you believe your child’s safety is at risk, or that there is another time-sensitive matter, you might be able to appeal the order. A family lawyer in Bloomington IL can help you to do this.
Issues That Can Be Appealed
Not all family law cases can be appealed. Grounds for an appeal are solely limited to:
Errors in law: A mistake in a court proceeding. An example of this would be when state law requires a parent who has been convicted of domestic violence to complete counseling before being awarded visitation rights, but a judge granted visitation without any proof of counseling.
A mistake in fact: When a judge reached a final conclusion that no other person could have reached based upon the evidence. An example of this might be when a parent is awarded sole custody even though they have been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor and the other parent has demonstrated to be a fit parent with no criminal record.
The Basics of an Appeal Process
If you would like to file an appeal with the family court, you should have a family lawyer helping you along the way. The process will go something like the following:
1. Filing a Notice of Appeal by your state’s deadline
2. Provide the court with with file transcripts of any hearings and also a written brief explaining the basis of your appeal
3. The court will make a ruling, either affirming the lower court’s decision or will issue a rehearing or retrial
This process can take between 6 months and one year, or longer in some cases. If you can show that you or your children are in immediate danger, the process could be expedited. There is no room for delay. If you would like to appeal a family court ruling, call a family lawyer Bloomington IL residents trust from Pioletti & Pioletti as soon as possible.
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