Seeking an appeal on a trial decision for divorce and legal separation proceedings can be exceedingly difficult, and not wholly understood. The San Mateo family law attorney team at the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. can help clients in San Mateo County navigate through the appeals process and shed some insight on what can and cannot be appealed.
Family Law Appeals in California Must Be Justified
In order to appeal a trial decision involving matters of family law, the appellant must provide a proper, acceptable reason. Simply being dissatisfied by the trial decision is not a sound argument for an appeal. In addition, any agreements made may not be appealed.
An appeal of a family court decision may only be initiated if there has been an error of law by the trial court judge – also known as an abuse of discretion. In the state of California, trial court judges are often granted broad discretion on matters of family law. This means they generally have the ability to make judgments on all issues regarding divorce, including child support, custody, and property division.
In certain circumstances, a trial court judge may exceed his or her broad discretion on a specific family law matter. The appellate process serves to correct these judgments.
The Appellate Process in San Mateo County
Because of the singular nature behind family law appeals, the appellant’s involvement in the process is fairly limited. Appeals courts are typically deferential to the initial trial court judges, and as such, are hesitant to overturn any judgments made previously.
Additionally, no new evidence is generally allowed to be introduced on appeal. The appeal is decided based on the record of the previous trial, and the quality of the arguments submitted at that time.
There are Strict Deadlines to File a Family Law Appeal in San Mateo County
In San Mateo County and the state of California, the appeals process follows strict deadlines. A notice of appeal must be filed, indicating that you intend to appeal any judgments made during the divorce or family law proceedings. This notice must be filed within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Entry of judgment.
If you fail to file a notice by the deadline, you waive the right to appeal – but options such as filing a motion for a new trial or motion to vacate judgment can extend your deadline.
Because there are sensitive matters at stake, and the appeals process requires stringent guidelines and deadlines, retaining a family law attorney is highly recommended. The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. can assist in swift action towards an appeal.
Reliable Attorneys by Your Side
The San Mateo family law attorneys at the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. make every effort to ensure you are fully aware of your abilities during the appeals process. We are comprehensive in our knowledge, transparent in our communication, and aggressive in our litigation in order to assert the rights of our San Mateo County clients.
Through the family law appeals process, we exercise compassion and sympathy, while staying on course to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. We are thorough in our analysis of the facts in the previous trial so we can passionately attempt to reverse any erroneous actions or judgments made by the trial courts.
If you require assistance through the family law appeals process, please call us at 415.834.1120 to discuss your options and determine your rights through this process.