Appealing a Divorce Decree or Judgment
If you are not happy with the outcome of your divorce decree or judgment, there may be a basis to file an appeal. There is only a narrow window of time within which to appeal, so you need to consider whether you are satisfied with the judgment right away. Divorce decrees are complex, and in order to appeal them, we will need to take several steps. At the McClure Law Group, our Dallas divorce attorneys have experience appealing a divorce decree or judgment. We use the same dedicated approach in the process of appeals as we do in an initial case, aiming always to protect our clients' interests.Appealing a Divorce Decree or Judgment in Texas
Usually, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the date of entry of a divorce decree or judgment. The notice of appeal will advise the trial court that an appeal will be filed. The person who is appealing the decree or judgment is known as the appellant. When appealing, it will be necessary to prepare a brief explaining why the appeal is being filed and attaching a trial transcript, as well as evidence, pleadings, and other documents. Appeals are time-consuming, so it is important to make sure that there is an adequate basis to appeal and then craft persuasive arguments to explain a client's position to the court.
There are limited grounds on which to appeal because in general the law favors the finality of judgments. In most family law cases in Texas, the appellate court will review the issues for an abuse of discretion. Courts are considered to have abused their discretion when they act unreasonably or arbitrarily, or without referring to the appropriate rules or principles.
The appellate court will not find an abuse of discretion when there is substantial proof to support the trial court's decision. In most cases, an appellate court will decide whether a trial court abused its discretion by considering whether the trial court had enough evidence upon which to exercise its discretion and whether the trial court made a mistake in applying its discretion. Whether there was enough evidence hinges on whether the evidence would have allowed reasonable and fair-minded individuals to get to the verdict under review.
The appellate court will review written briefs and may hear arguments. The appellate judges will not consider new evidence or testimony, but they will make their decision based on what was submitted at the trial court level. They may reverse the lower court or send the case back to the lower court for a new trial that incorporates their clarifications and directives.Discuss Your Situation with a Divorce Attorney in the Dallas Area
Sometimes appeals may be necessary. Our law firm is committed to helping our clients achieve their objectives, and we have the experience and skills needed for appealing a divorce decree or judgment. The Dallas lawyers at the McClure Law Group can advise you and represent you as appropriate. We also have a Collin County office in Plano (by appointment) and represent people in Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, and Rockwall, as well as other communities in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Denton, Tarrant, and Rockwall Counties. Call us at 214.692.8200 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment if you need a divorce or child custody attorney, or guidance in another family law matter.