There are multiple facets to any Texas family law matter as parties seek to protect their own rights and further the interests of loved ones. As such, when disputes must be resolved through court action, you can expect that one or more individuals will not obtain the desired outcome once the legal process runs its course. At times, the end result could be due to a legal or procedural error, which may provide a party with the option to appeal the court’s finding. The appellate process is available in divorce cases when the judge’s order affects property division, spousal support, or issues related to minor children. However, you can appeal any kind of family law case, including guardianships, conservatorships, termination of parental rights, paternity, and many other matters, if there is a procedural or legal basis.
Because the appellate process is complex and the grounds to appeal are extremely narrow, it is wise to retain experienced counsel for legal help. At The Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our team has a specific focus in the area of family law appeals, so we are ready to provide the assistance you need. For more information, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an appeals lawyer in The Woodlands. You can also read on for an overview of the basics.
Legal Basis for Appealing a Family Law Decision: The basic premise of an appeal is that the trial court made some procedural or legal error that had a negative impact on the result of the trial. In family law cases, the most common argument is an abuse of discretion. Judges have some leeway in interpreting the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or Family Code, but they could err by issuing an unreasonable, arbitrary decision or one which contravenes the laws.
You may have grounds to appeal a decision in many types of family law matters, such as:
- Divorce cases, where the court made a mistake regarding asset division or spousal support;
- Cases involving custody, visitation, and support for minor children, either in divorce or associated with a paternity action;
- Guardianship and custodianship cases;
- Petitions to modify spousal support or child support;
- Termination of parental rights;
- Protective orders; and,
- Many others.
Overview of the Appellate Process: If you do believe you have grounds for appeal, you must comply with strict rules regarding the appellate process. The proceedings are very different from a trial on a family law issue, and there are specific deadlines with which you must comply. Our lawyers at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC will handle the necessary legal tasks, but there are some points you should note with respect to the process:
- The basis for an appeal must be raised during the trial process to “preserve” the issue. When you hear one attorney object to some aspect of the proceedings, this act sets the stage for an appeal. You would argue that the judge’s ruling on the objection was an abuse of discretion.
- To initiate the appeals process, you must file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days after the order was entered.
The next step is filing a brief that details the legal reasoning and arguments forming the basis for the appeal. The brief must include excerpts from the trial court record where you allege the error occurred, along with other supporting documents where appropriate.
- The other party to the appeal will have the opportunity to file a brief in response to the paperwork you submit, making counterarguments as to why the order of the trial court should remain effective.
Limitations in Texas Family Law Appeals: The most important point to understand in the appellate process is that you are not engaging in a “do-over” of the trial. You will not present exhibits or testimony; the appellate judges are limited to reviewing the trial court record and your briefs. If the appeals court agrees with your position, there are a few ways the judges may handle your case. For example:
- They may overturn the lower court’s ruling with no further proceedings.
- The judges may find an abuse of discretion that sends your case back to trial on the issue that was subject to appeal.
- The appellate court may require the trial judge to consider evidence that was previously tossed or allow a witness to testify after being excluded.
Get Legal Help From A Texas Appeals Attorney
If you were a party to a family law court case and want to know about your rights to appeal, please contact The Ramos Law Group, PLLC. The appellate process is highly complicated, but our experienced lawyers are prepared for the challenges. To learn how we can help with your case, please contact our office to set up a consultation with a member of our team.
Our Client Testimonials
The decision to end my 25-year marriage was not an easy one, but hiring the Ramos Law Group was. From the initial consultation to the execution of the Divorce Decree everyone at the firm displayed the utmost professionalism and I was treated as if I was their only client. My attorney Lindsey, always provided precise legal guidance, was usually one step ahead of the opposing counsel, and had a superb understanding of how things would play out in the court room. Additionally, whenever my case needed a little extra horsepower, Mary provided that "surge" to keep things on track.
"Ms. Ramos and her entire staff worked with professionalism and compassion to guide me through the most difficult time of my life and to an outcome that was best for my family and myself. Ramos Law is incredible and I highly, highly recommend their services."
"I was recommended to see Mary Ramos for my on coming custody case,it was the best thing I could've done honestly.The Ramos law group was quick with emailed responses and telephone calls,informative with ANY questions I had and they also took action with what they thought would work,which it did,I had money troubles and they were still willing to help they sent me with a younger lawyer Lindsey Lewis to help save some money and she was the best!She knew what she was doing and Mary was still on my case to make sure things went smoothly and to catch any details Lindsey and I might have missed.All in all I am a very satisfied client and if I ever needed a family lawyer again I would come back.My case was won as I received primary for my daughter which is exactly what I asked for.If you're willing to listen to what they have to say and follow their guidance they're definitely worth hiring.I thought I wanted sole custody for my daughter and they explained that wasn't in the best interest for her and honestly they were right,they speak to you on a professional level and also a real level of how things are actually going to work and what could happen if you take a certain action.They definitely care about their clients and make their own bond with you,you're not just money in their pockets you turn into family. "
"I received excellent advice and representation from Ms. Lindsey Lewis. She kept me updated at every step of the process, and I never felt as if my case was set aside. I would hire The Ramos Law Group in the future. "
"I started my divorce with a lawyer who was not very responsive. My divorce case was complicated and needed more laborious scrutiny. Since the case was not moving forward I had to switch lawyers. Made the switch to Ramos Law group. Since the very first day Mary and her team have been very efficient and meticulous. Since the case was complicated the team had to go through myriads of pages in discovery. I was pleased with the legal team that helped us handle the paperwork in a very timely manner. All my questions were answered very promptly. The relay of information was easy with their software system. We finally had a law firm that we could trust. My divorce was finalized and I only have Mary and her team to thank for going through a difficult divorce. I would highly recommend the Ramos law group for their help and support for getting my life back on track. "