Family Law Appeals
When the outcome of a family law proceeding is not resolved as you had hoped, there may be an option to appeal the court’s decision. Alternatively, the opposing party may seek review of a decision by a higher court, requiring the prevailing party to defend the district court's decision. Either scenario requires special knowledge of the rules governing appeals. At Batley Family Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, our team of family law appeal lawyers can help.
What Does a Family Law Appeals Lawyer Do?
The role of a family law appeals lawyer is to challenge or defend the court’s decisions and argue that it should change or leave the lower court's final judgment in your favor.
In family law, decisions that can be challenged include:
- Divorce decrees
- Custody arrangements
- Guardianship decisions
- Domestic violence
Requirements for an Appeal in New Mexico
Not all court decisions can be appealed. Simply disagreeing with how the trial judge ruled is not sufficient grounds for an appeal. The trial court makes decisions about the facts, and decides who is telling the truth in a dispute. There must be met a compelling reason for an appeal to be successful, which requires a showing that the trial court made a legal error.
On appeal, you cannot present new evidence, and the appeal does not involve a new trial. Instead, the appeals judge will review the evidence originally submitted at trial and determine whether the trial court judge made an error of law that warrants overturning or modifying the original decision.
How to File an Appeal
Though any party can file an appeal, even without legal representation, the process is complicated. There are several documents that need to be filed, and they have to be done correctly, following all of the court’s specific rules and procedures.
This seven-step process is an over-simplification, but it contains the most significant milestones.
- Discuss the decision with your attorney to determine if filing an appeal is an appropriate step.
- File a notice of appeal within 30 days of the written judgment.
- Prepare and file a document that says what facts the trial court found and how the trial court judge was wrong. At this point, there is a filing fee to proceed with the appeal.
- Begin preparing the case, which involves determining the information to include in the appeal and ordering trial transcripts or recordings of proceedings.
- If authorized by the Court of Appeals, file an appellate brief that contains your arguments.
- The court will make decisions that can include reversal, remand, affirmance, or modification.
Contact an Experienced New Mexico Family Lawyer
There is a very brief window where a party is eligible to file an appeal, and there’s no guarantee that your case will be heard. It is vital to have an experienced family law appeals lawyer on your side to be able to advocate for your rights.
What Our Clients Say
“Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
I had a great experience at Batley Family Law. They assisted me with my case. They were excellent and ensured that my case was handled as efficiently as possible and always made me feel informed. This firm helped me through a stressful time. Would absolutely recommend this law firm.”
“Thanks for everything yesterday! I had a very informative and meaningful consultation with Batley Family Law. I can tell that they are compassionate and strong which I admire in a law firm. Their firm has written a great book on New Mexico Divorce Law and they had recommendations for books to help my kids in this process! Thanks for the great gifts as well. I look forward to working with them in the process that lies ahead.”
Bobbie Batley is unquestionably the top family lawyer in New Mexico, largely because of the amazing team she leads. This firm cares about their clients, and puts those needs out front. I will never hesitate to refer to this firm!”
“Batley Family Law is an excellent place to work. I enjoy coming in everyday. It is clear to see how much our attorneys value New Mexican families. They work their hardest to advocate for their clients on a daily basis.”
“Batley Family Law provided me with excellent advice and service to effectively and efficiently resolve an issue with my best interests in mind. They did this with a great deal of compassion. I would highly recommend this firm.”