FAQ on Appeals Process

FAQ on the Appeals Process in texas

Have Questions? We Have Answers!

What is an appeal, and can it be applied to a family law case?

An appeal consists of asking a higher court to review the ruling of a lower court. The grounds for appeal are based on the idea that the lower court’s decision resulted from legal error or an abuse of discretion. This must be proven to the higher court in order for the ruling to be overturned or sent back to the lower court for correction. You cannot make an appeal simply because you did not like the decision that was made if it was found through proper procedure and application of the law. 

You can appeal any family law decision, whether it involves some aspect of divorce, such as child custody or support, the division of marital property and debt, and spousal support or other issues such as grandparents’ rights, etc. 

How long do I have to file for an appeal after the family court’s decision?

You will have 30 days from the date of the family court’s ruling to file for an appeal. 

What is an “abuse of discretion” by a court?

An abuse of discretion includes a court acting in an unreasonable manner, erroneously, arbitrarily, overstepping their bounds, or failing to follow Texas Family Code or the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. An example of this would be failing to allow the testimony of an important witness. Other examples could include improperly influencing the jury or demonstrating some kind of bias.

How does the process work?

The process works by having the higher court examine the court record of the original court trial. Therefore, the grounds for your appeal must have been recorded as part of the original record. Your attorney will then file a written brief that shows the legal reasoning for the appeal. This brief must be extremely detailed outlining why the ruling was improperly obtained. The appeal is not a new trial with new evidence. It is only about what happened in the original trial. Both you and the other side can present arguments detailing your opposing views. After fully reviewing all arguments, the appellate court will render its decision. 

An appeal is a very different process than original family court proceedings. They are subject to specific laws and to deadlines. You will need an attorney who is experienced in this matter when pursuing an appeal.

What can an appeals court do about the trial court’s decision?

If the appeals court sides with you as the one making the appeal, it can overturn the family court’s decision or “remand” the matter back to the family court for a new trial. 

How long does an appeal take?

The length of time will depend on the circumstances but it can months or years to get a result from the appeals court. Because of the time and expense of this process, it is crucial that your appeal is handled by a knowledgeable and skilled appeal attorney. 

Contact a Lawyer

Still have questions? Want to know if your case has grounds for an appeal? The Pall Law Firm can help. Discuss the specifics of your family law ruling with our Victoria County appeals attorney to learn more. 

Reach out online or at (361) 298-3435 for a consultation. Serving the Texas counties of Victoria, DeWitt, Jackson, Goliad, and Calhoun.

  • “I had a family member use Ashley for a legal situation, and she was very professional in the entire situation. I would highly recommend her to friends if that were seeking legal advice.” - Mariah L.
  • “She followed up on everything that she stated she would follow up on, and kept in contact on everything. Very realistic about the outcome.” - Dawn L.
  • “She is more concerned about the client and is very compassionate. She always has the best interest for her clients.” - Nicole P.