Toronto Appeal Consultations
Very few family law cases end in trials. However, when a case is resolved by a trial, you are permitted to have at least one right of appeal. An appeal is a step in a divorce or family law case where one or more higher court judges review the decision of the lower court judge. Judges are only human and, even with their training, can still make mistakes. An appeal court can overturn a judge’s decision if the judge has made a “reviewable error”, meaning an error that is bad enough that another court should fix that error.
In general, a trial judge is entitled to deference. In simple terms, that means that an appeal court will not intervene in a lower court decision unless the error is bad enough that it feels justice can only be done if it does intervene. Being unhappy with a decision or feeling it was unfair is not enough to win an appeal. Moreover, appeals on issues of law are often very technical arguments that are hard to make for people without legal training. It is important to really understand the law in order to understand whether your appeal has merit or not.
Notice of Appeal
If you do not want to proceed with an appeal, a notice of appeal must be filed. A notice of appeal is what commences an appeal and lets the other party know you intend to appeal. A notice of appeal needs to set out the basis for why you are appealing, what you want the appeal court to order, and the jurisdiction of the court to hear the appeal.
When you want to appeal, it is extremely important that you file the notice of appeal within the time allotted to appeal. Often, that is 30 days from the date of the decision. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Besides the generally unique rules that apply to appeals, many family law appeals are governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure, which are rules that many family law litigants, and lawyers, do not use very often. Therefore, the appeal procedures are extremely complex and it is very helpful to have a lawyer assist with your appeal.
Michael H. Tweyman has succeeded on appeals at all levels of court in Ontario. He has the experience to help guide you through the appeal process and help you understand your rights in an appeal.
The lawyers at Modern Family Law LLP understand that deciding whether to appeal and initiating an appeal can be a daunting task. Like in a regular case, it is important the case is framed properly. Modern Family Law LLP offers a block fee for an initial step in an appeal and to help you understand your rights.
Call Modern Family Law LLP at 647-DIVORCE to get assistance with your family law appeal.