When a family law case is concluded at trial, a judge issues a ruling. The Arizona Court of Appeals has the power to review the judge’s ruling or order and determine whether the judge properly considered the facts and applied the law.

The legal standard for review of the trial court’s ruling depends upon the reason for the appeal.

Simply disagreeing with the court’s ruling or a belief that the judge should have found one parties’ testimony more compelling than another generally will not meet the stringent burden for a successful appeal. Statistically, only about 10% of appeals are successful. The procedures for the Court of Appeals are strict and a case can be summarily dismissed unless the proper rules are followed. Time is of the essence in an appeal. There is a 30-day deadline to file a Notice of Appeal following a trial court’s ruling. When an unsatisfactory ruling occurs, it is imperative to speak with a family law attorney immediately to ensure your rights are preserved.

What is an Appeal?

After a court has heard and ruled on your case, you may believe that it has made an error in its decision and that you are entitled to a different award, order or ruling. An appeal is a request to have a court of a higher jurisdiction reconsider, and potentially reverse or change, the decision of the lower trial court which originally heard your case. For the Court of Appeals to hear your case, you or legal counsel must file a Notice of Appeal with the court citing legal reasons why reversing or altering the original judgment is appropriate. There are rigid time limits within which this must be done. Appellate cases are typically very legally complex and include deeper analyses of the facts and law. If you wish to file an appeal, it would be extremely beneficial to consult experienced attorney who is well-versed in appellate matters.

Kathleen Stillman

Associate

Jared Sandler

Associate