Appealing a divorce, child custody, or other family law decision in North Carolina
In North Carolina, if you are dissatisfied with a divorce, child custody, or other family law ruling, you may have the option to appeal the decision. However, it's important to note that the specific procedures and requirements for appealing a family law decision can vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
To appeal a family law decision, you typically need to demonstrate that there was an error of law or an abuse of discretion by the lower court. It's not enough to simply disagree with the decision or present new evidence. You must show that legal errors occurred that affected the outcome of your case.
How can we help?
- Filing an appeal of a family court decision in North Carolina
- When should I appeal a family court decision?
- What types of family law decisions are typically appealed?
- Do you have an appellate attorney near me?
Filing an appeal of a family court decision in North Carolina
Once a trial court issues a final order, either party has the option to file a Notice of Appeal with the North Carolina Court of Appeals within 30 days of receiving the final order. It is important to note that the appeals process differs significantly from the divorce process in the trial court. The appeals court operates under specific court rules, and the standard of review for appeals is considerably higher compared to the trial court.
It is important to understand that the Court of Appeals does not provide an opportunity to rehash your entire case. Instead, it focuses on reviewing the trial court records and the legal briefs submitted in support of the appeal. The Court of Appeals generally does not entertain new arguments or evidence that was not presented in the trial court. The court may not even hear oral arguments, and the case will be decided solely based on the written record and submitted arguments.
If the Court of Appeals agrees with the trial court's decision, the case will be denied, and the original order will stand. However, if the Court of Appeals agrees with the petitioner and overturns a specific decision made by the trial court, that particular issue may be remanded back to the trial court for reconsideration. This could potentially lead to a different outcome or a reaffirmation of the original decision.
When should I appeal a family court decision?
Deciding whether to appeal a family court decision is an important decision and should be based on careful consideration of various factors. It is vital to consult with a qualified attorney who can assess the specifics of your case. Here are some situations in which you might consider appealing a family court decision:
- Errors of law. If you believe the family court judge made a legal error that affected the outcome of your case, such as misinterpreting or misapplying the law, it may be grounds for an appeal.
- Procedural errors. If there were significant procedural errors during the trial or the judge failed to follow proper legal procedures, it may be appropriate to appeal the decision.
- Evidentiary issues. If there were errors related to the admission or exclusion of evidence that you believe affected the outcome of the case, it could be a valid reason for pursuing an appeal.
- Abuse of discretion. If you believe the family court judge exercised their discretion unreasonably or unjustly, resulting in an unfair decision, you may have grounds for an appeal.
- Errors in findings of fact. If you can demonstrate that the family court judge's factual findings were clearly erroneous, meaning they were not supported by the evidence presented at trial, it may be a basis for an appeal.
- Significant impact on your rights or the welfare of your child. If the family court decision has a substantial impact on your fundamental rights or the best interests of your child, it may be worth considering an appeal.
Remember, the appeals process can be complex and time-sensitive. It is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can evaluate the merits of your case and guide you through the appellate process.
What types of family law decisions are typically appealed?
Typically, appeals to Family Court decisions revolve around the following:
- Child custody and visitation. Decisions related to child custody and visitation arrangements are frequently appealed. They may involve challenging the court's determination of the best interests of the child or alleging errors in the application of relevant factors and evidence.
- Child support. Disputes over child support orders, such as the calculation of support amounts or deviations from statutory guidelines, can be appealed if any legal or factual errors affected the outcome.
- Property division. Appeals may arise in cases involving the division of marital property and assets. This can involve contesting the court's valuation of assets, claims of hidden assets, or errors in the distribution of property.
- Alimony. You may pursue an appeal when there are alleged mistakes in determining the amount, duration, or termination of spousal support.
- Paternity determinations. In cases where paternity is at issue, either party may appeal a decision regarding the establishment or denial of paternity.
- Modification or enforcement of prior orders. If there are disputes over modifying or enforcing existing family law orders, such as changes in custody, visitation, support, or other provisions, parties may seek an appeal.
Having qualified counsel at every stage of your appeal is crucial for the best chance at a successful outcome to your case, as appeals can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Appealing a family law decision requires a thorough understanding of the appellate process and expertise in family law. Don't navigate this complex legal journey alone. Our dedicated family law appeals attorneys are ready to advocate for your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. With a deep understanding of family law and extensive experience in appellate courts, we can assess the merits of your case, develop a strategic plan, and provide sound legal guidance throughout the appeals process.
Do you have an appellate attorney near me?
Epperson Law Group has offices in Charlotte, Weddington and Boone, but we serve clients throughout North Carolina. Rest assured, however, that if you are unable to come to us, we will travel to visit you. We also offer virtual conferences and telephone consultations.
Experienced appellate attorneys helping families in and around Charlotte, NC
Don't let an unjust family law decision go unchallenged. Take the necessary steps to protect your rights and the well-being of your family. Contact Epperson Law Group today by calling our office or filling out our contact form to schedule a consultation and discuss your options. We maintain offices in Charlotte, Boone, Concord, and Weddington, NC.