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NYC Family Law Appeals Lawyers

A family court appeal is a legal request by an adversely affected party for a review of a decision. The term “adversely affected” means the party lost the ruling. The person, called the appellant, seeks a reversal of the original decision. They request the review because they believe there was a mistake or error made by the family court judge.

The appeal isn’t reviewed by the judge who made the decision. The appeal is sent to a higher court. No new evidence is included with the appeal. The higher court reviews the case with only the original evidence such as documents and testimony provided in the first original decision.

However, both parties can argue their case in a motion for the appeal and answer. An answer is submitted to the court by the party that won the original case. They are called respondent. Family law attorneys are also allowed to make a brief oral argument in front of the trial judge. If the higher court finds in the appellant favor, the decision is overturned. If the higher court finds for the respondent, the decision is upheld.

Not All Decisions are Appealable

The decisions that can be appealed are determined by New York’s Laws, Family Court Act 1112. For example, most temporary family court orders are not appealable. However, a temporary support order is appealable.

Ex-parte, consent orders or default orders aren’t immediately appealable. A party must go through the process of filing a motion to vacate the order first. For instance, in a default judgment, a party must provide a defense to why the judgment should be removed. A default judgment is typically ordered when a party doesn’t appear at trial. The other party automatically wins the case.

Filing a Family Court Appeal

The appellant must follow basic rules to request the family court review a lower court’s decision. These rules are outlined in the Appellate Division Rule 670.3. One original and two copies of the motion to appeal should be filed with the clerk of family court. The motion is referred to as a Request for Appellate Division Intervention Form (RADI). A notice of appeal must also be sent. A copy of the appellant’s order they wish to appeal must be included too. The respondent must receive copies via ordinary mail. Everything must be perfect to obtain an appeal in the family court.
Each party will also have time to file their briefs with the court to convince the higher court the decision should be overturned or upheld. The appellant also has the opportunity to respond in writing to the respondent’s answer.
The Timeline for a Family Law Court Appeal

An appeal is not automatically initiated. The aggrieved party must request the appeal. The court will start the appeals process when one of two things must occur within 30 days. The court receives service by the party’s attorney, or it receives a copy of the appellant. Another way to start the appeals process is receiving the request via mail within 35 days.

Get a Lawyer to Appeal a Family Court Decision

When an appeal is requested, a stay can also be requested. This prevents the parties from being legally obligated to fulfill the decision such as pay child support. An appeal is serious and must be done correctly.
Obtain the help from a New York City family law lawyer if you decide to appeal a family court decision. The appeals process is complex and difficult. Once you appeal a family court case, the decision will be reviewed. If the higher finds in favor of the respondent, the decision can’t be reviewed again. Thus, it is best to hire a family law lawyer to fight for the review and decision to be changed. If you are the respondent, you should hire a family law attorney to fight your case and prevent the decision from being overturned.