Appealing a Family Law Decision in Colorado Springs? We Can Help

It can feel devastating to receive an unwanted outcome in your family law case. After all, you likely have a lot invested in the result. An unfavorable outcome might mean having to part with assets that are important to you, being required to pay spousal or child support that seems unreasonable, or even losing out on time with your child. These vast, life-changing results could impact your future—and possibly your child’s future—for years.

In times like these, it is essential to remember that our legal system has safeguards in place to protect individuals’ rights and decrease the chances of incorrect rulings standing. One of the most valuable safeguards is appealing the decision.

If you believe the wrong ruling was made in your case, let The Law Office of Andrew Bryant guide you through the appeals process and work to make things right. Our skilled legal professionals have assisted numerous clients with appeals and understand how the system works and what is necessary to give you the best chance of winning your appeal.

Your Guide to Colorado Springs Appeals Basics

These are the most essential things to understand about how appeals cases work.

Who has jurisdiction over family law appeals in Colorado?

In Colorado Springs, appellate jurisdiction in family law cases is primarily vested in the Colorado Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals has the authority to review final orders and judgments issued by the district courts in family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division.

Can you appeal for any reason?

The short answer is no. In family law cases, parties may seek appellate review on various grounds, including errors of law, procedural irregularities, abuse of discretion by the trial court, and findings of fact unsupported by the evidence. It’s important to note that appellate courts generally give deference to the trial court’s findings of fact and will only overturn them if they are erroneous.

On the other hand, errors of law are subject to de novo review, meaning that the appellate court will review the legal issues independently and without deference to the trial court’s rulings. Common examples of errors of law in family law cases include misinterpretation or misapplication of statutes, failure to consider relevant legal precedent, and procedural errors such as violations of due process rights.

How do appeals courts make decisions?

In our state, appellate courts’ standards of review differ depending on the nature of the issue being appealed. For questions of law, such as the interpretation of statutes or the application of legal principles, appellate courts apply a de novo standard of review, meaning that they review the issue anew and without deference to the trial court’s rulings.

For factual findings made by the trial court, appellate courts apply a deferential standard known as the “abuse of discretion” standard. Under this standard, the appellate court will only disturb the trial court’s findings of fact if they are unsupported by the evidence or are otherwise clearly erroneous.

Colorado Family Law Attorneys with a Deep Understanding of the Appeals Process

Andrew Bryant and the rest of our team know that appeals play a crucial role in our family law system. They provide parties with a mechanism to challenge court decisions and seek review by a higher court. However, to make this mechanism work, it is vital to have someone on your side who understands the rules and procedures governing the appellate process.

Here’s an overview of the process:

Review the Final Order or Judgment

The first step in considering an appeal is to carefully review the final order or judgment issued by the trial court. Identify the specific rulings, findings, or decisions you believe are incorrect or unjust.

Consult with Your Attorney

It’s highly advisable to consult with an experienced appellate attorney who can evaluate your case, determine whether you have grounds for appeal, and guide you through the appellate process.

At The Law Office of Andrew Bryant, we take the time to determine the merits of every case and identify potential grounds for appeal before proceeding. This way, we can provide you with a clear sense of your chances and work to build the strongest case possible.

File a Notice of Appeal

To initiate the appeal, you must file a Notice of Appeal with the appropriate appellate court within the designated time frame. In Colorado, the Notice of Appeal must generally be filed within 49 days from the date the trial court’s order or judgment was entered.

Order the Transcript

You must order a transcript of the proceedings from the trial court within 21 days of filing the Notice of Appeal. The transcript will be necessary for the appellate court to review the proceedings and any issues raised on appeal.

Prepare the Record

The appellant (the party appealing the decision) is responsible for preparing the record on appeal, which includes all relevant documents, pleadings, exhibits, and transcripts from the trial court proceedings. The record must be filed with the appellate court within a specified time frame.

When our law office handles your appeal, we will work with you to prepare all relevant documents and ensure that all filings meet the requirements.

Submit Briefs

Both parties will have the opportunity to submit written briefs outlining their arguments and legal positions on appeal. The appellant’s brief presents the arguments for why the trial court’s decision should be reversed or modified, while the appellee’s brief responds to those arguments.

Oral Argument (Optional)

In some cases, the appellate court may schedule oral arguments, during which the parties or their attorneys can present their case and answer questions from the judges. Oral argument is not always scheduled and is at the appellate court’s discretion.

Appellate Decision

After reviewing the briefs, record, and any oral arguments, the appellate court will issue a written decision either affirming, reversing, or modifying the trial court’s decision. The decision will outline the court’s reasoning and legal analysis.

Enforcement of Appellate Decision

Once the appellate court issues its decision, the parties must comply with the court’s orders. If the decision reverses or modifies the trial court’s judgment, the parties may need to return to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the appellate court’s decision.

The Legal Skill and Planning You Need to Win Your Colorado Springs Family Law Appeal

Appeals in family law cases can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful strategic planning and legal expertise. It’s important for people considering an appeal to consult with an experienced appellate attorney.

If you decide to move forward, it is essential to understand that the appellate process has strict procedural requirements and deadlines that govern it. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the dismissal of the appeal or other adverse consequences. Therefore, ensuring that all appellate filings are timely, complete, and compliant with applicable rules and procedures is essential.

When you work with Andrew Bryant, you can rest assured that he will help you navigate the appellate process effectively and give you the best chance at receiving a positive outcome. To learn more about how we can help with your unique appeal situation, do not hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.