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Jones Family Law, LLCN/a
Jones Family Law, LLC
1610 Des Peres Road ,
Suite 340 St. Louis,
1610 Des Peres Road ,
Suite 340 St. Louis,
An appeal may be necessary if after a trial in your case, you received an unfavorable decision from the judge. The purpose of filing an appeal is to challenge the trial court’s decision by asking a higher court to reverse it. The appellate court will review the transcript from the trial as well as the documentation submitted into evidence to determine if any errors were made by the trial court. Filing an appeal is a process that is highly complex and requires a great deal of legal research, so it is necessary to consult with a seasoned attorney who has experience with family law appeals. Family law involves important decisions including custody of your children and division of your property, so if you have received an unfavorable decision in your trial, it is crucial that you consult with a Des Peres appeals lawyer to see if there is any recourse to be taken.
Only final judgments made at trial can be appealed. If your final orders resulted from an agreement and you have changed your mind, you cannot file for an appeal. If your situation has changed since you came to an agreement, you might be able to utilize a modification process to change the final orders instead.
Similarly, you cannot appeal temporary orders issued while a divorce or custody case is pending. If this is your situation, you should meet with a family law attorney serving Des Peres to see if it is possible to file a motion for new orders.
Appeals must be based on an error of law or fact. Simply being unhappy with the outcome and being able to explain why a decision is unfair is not enough for an appeal.
Pointing to the appropriate legal error requires an in-depth understanding of the law and the facts of the case. Although many successfully navigate their family law trials without the help of an attorney, it is much harder for someone without legal training to succeed in the appeals process. If you need to appeal your family law trial ruling, you should seek the help of a Des Peres family law appeals attorney from our firm.
You must file a notice of your intent to appeal within ten days of entry of the final judgment, as required under Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 81.04. This short deadline may pose a problem if your trial attorney is not also an appellate lawyer. Fortunately, it is only “notice” that you must file quickly; you will have more time to prepare your brief and the legal file.
If you miss the 10-day deadline, it is possible to seek a special order from the appellate court allowing you to file within six months of the final judgment (per Civil Procedure Rule 81.07), but you will need to show the delay was not caused by your own negligence. If you know you plan to appeal, you should immediately begin documenting your efforts to find a family law attorney serving Des Peres. This will show the appellate court that your negligence did not cause the delay.
After notice is given, you have sixty days to order a trial transcript, prepare the record on appeal, and file an opening brief. The other party will have thirty days to file their response brief, and then you have fifteen days to reply. Often these deadlines are extended with an appropriate request.
Once this briefing process is complete, the court of appeals will docket the case for consideration. The appellate attorney is offered the opportunity for an oral argument but it is not required. This process can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more.
Receiving an unfavorable decision in your trial does not have to be the end of your legal journey. However, because the appeals process is specialized and complicated, a successful outcome will largely depend on having a solid understanding of Missouri statutory and case law. If you need to appeal the outcome of your family law case, enlisting the guidance of a Des Peres family law appeals lawyer from our firm could give you the guidance you need to determine if your case is likely to be successful.
An experienced Des Peres appeals lawyer at Jones Family Law Group, LLC can advise you of your legal options today and assist you with this process. Call our firm today to get started.
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