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Appeals

If you believe the court has misapplied the law, made an error or abused its discretion in entering your orders, you should consult with experienced counsel. Once an order is entered, there is only a short period of time in which that order can be amended or appealed. It is important that you contact us early with any concerns.

Guidance Through The Process Of Appeal That Ensures Your Rights Stay Intact

If you choose to appeal a court decision, your Denver family law attorney must file a notice of appeal with the Colorado Court of Appeals within 45 days of the final order. It is crucial to act as soon as possible if you wish to appeal to avoid giving up your appellate rights. This notice of appeal must list all the issues you wish the appellate court to address during the appeal process. It should be noted, however, that you cannot appeal a trial court’s decision upon the sole basis that you do not believe someone was truthful. Appeals are generally limited to whether the judge properly interpreted and applied the law to the facts of your case.

Family Law Appeals: A Timeline

Once the notice of appeal is filed, the trial court should manage to get the record on appeal to the appellate court within about 90 days. Upon the filing of the record on appeal with the appellate court, your attorney will have 40 days to prepare an opening brief to present your arguments to the appellate court, which includes a detail of the lower court’s errors and what specific relief you are requesting. Within 30 days of filing your opening brief, your ex-spouse will be able to file an answer brief responding to your arguments. Finally, once the answer brief is filed, you will have an opportunity to submit one final brief to the appellate court, a reply brief, to address issues raised within the answer brief.

In the event your (ex) spouse files a Notice of Appeal or another request for review, we can present your arguments in an answer brief and, if you have your own issues for appeal, prepare a cross-appeal. This notice of cross-appeal must be filed within the same 45 days of the final order referenced above or within 15 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, whichever is longer. The briefs to be filed within a cross-appeal are slightly different than those referenced above, and the time frames for the filing of these briefs are slightly different as well. Your Denver divorce appeals attorney understands what is necessary for a cross-appeal and can assist you in this process.

Our Lawyer Will Help Make Your Case

Once all briefs have been filed with the appellate court, you may be asked to present your case before the panel of appellate judges assigned to your case in an oral argument. Shortly thereafter, the appellate court will issue an opinion indicating whether the trial court did in fact enter an inappropriate final order. This decision will be based only on the contents of the record on appeal and the arguments presented by the parties in their briefs and oral argument. The appellate court does not take new evidence, nor will it, generally, address any issue that was not first raised in the trial court.

If either party disagrees with the appellate court’s decision, that party may ask that same court to rehear the matter or may ask the Colorado Supreme Court to review the decision. While every party has a right to appeal his or her case to the Colorado Court of Appeals and that court must address all issues properly raised before it, appearing before the Colorado Supreme Court is a privilege, and that court may decline to hear any issue presented to it. If the Colorado Supreme Court accepts your petition to have the opinion of the Colorado Court of Appeals reviewed, the process is largely the same as the first appeal process but will usually take less time.

Contact Us And Get The Legal Expertise You Need

When you think the court has made a mistake in your divorce case, you should speak with your Denver divorce attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys can evaluate and recommend the best course of action for your case and help you decide whether an appeal or another judicial review of your order is appropriate.

We will be happy to look over your case and help you evaluate your likelihood of success on appeal, while also helping you to estimate the costs so you can weigh these financial costs against the potential benefits of an appeal. Call 303-951-4506 to make an appointment.

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