How do I appeal a family court Order in Ontario?
Family court decisions can be appealed in Ontario. However, it is important to distinguish between a temporary and final decision. For a temporary decision, something called “leave” is required. This means that a panel of three judges has to give permission to appeal based on a specified test that is very hard to meet. On the other hand, a final decision can be appealed as of “right”, meaning you have the right to appeal that decision to a higher court.
In Ontario, there are three possible levels of court for a first appeal, depending on where your original case takes place. It is helpful to have a lawyer advise you on the proper court for the appeal.
Appeals are started by serving and then filing a “notice of appeal”. A notice of appeal alerts the other party that you are appealing and explains the general grounds for why you think the original judge made a mistake. If you don’t list a ground of appeal in the notice of appeal, you cannot argue specific ground on appeal. While notices of appeal can be amended, it is important to properly draft a notice of appeal in the first place so it does not have to be corrected later.
Michael H. Tweyman has been successful on appeals at all levels of courts in Ontario and can help with all aspects of an appeal. He is able to provide guidance about the risks and benefits of pursuing any appeal. Contact him at [email protected] to set up a consultation by calling 647-DIVORCE.
Michael also offers an appeal starter package. For $1499+ HST, Michael will speak with you for up to 30 minutes, review the original court decision including the judge’s reasons, provide a high-level opinion about the proposed appeal, and complete the notice of appeal for you to start the appeal. Contact him to find out more.