What is an Appeal?
The purpose of an appeal is to ask a higher court to review and reverse the trial court’s decision. Appeals are governed by strict rules and deadlines. If the appeal is filed timely and properly, the appellate court will review the record and determine if the trial judge made a legal mistake that affected the final decision. An appeal is not a re-trial of the case. If the appellate court asks the attorneys to make oral argument, the attorneys will be limited to discussion of the law and the evidence from trial, rather than new information.
When a divorce case goes to trial, the judge has the duty to determine what is in the best interests of each minor child involved in the divorce and to fairly divide marital property. Oklahoma family law judges have broad discretion to make decisions concerning children and marital property, but that discretion has limits. If the trial judge makes the wrong decision, the party who is affected by the error can seek relief through the appeals process.
When Should You Start Thinking About Appeal?
When preparing for trial, it is important for each side to consider the possibility that the case could be appealed. Appellate cases are based on the record of what happened at trial. Trial attorneys must preserve that record and make timely objections when necessary. When one of our cases goes to trial, we consider the possibility that our client or the other party may appeal. Our trial work is informed by our appellate practice and experience. We make a strong, solid evidentiary case at trial to ensure that, in the event of an appeal, the strength of our client’s position is preserved and clear to the appellate court.
If you wish to appeal, you cannot afford to delay:
- Appeals are governed by a strict set of rules and deadlines.
- Appeals take time to prepare and cannot be done at the last minute.
- The filing fees and costs associated with an appeal must be paid at the front end of the appeal.
How We Can Help You With an Appeal
If there is even a remote chance that your family law case may be appealed by either you or by the other side, contact one of our experienced appellate lawyers right away. Our experienced appellate lawyers are able to pursue appeals at any level through Oklahoma state and federal courts, including extraordinary writs such as mandamus and habeas corpus. Our family law appeals practice includes property division, child custody, parental rights, spousal and child support, and all other types of Oklahoma family law issues. We have a track record of success in Oklahoma family law and civil appellate matters.