If you believe a significant error was made during your family court case in Missouri, you have the right to appeal. As a seasoned Missouri family law attorney, I'm here to explain how to appeal a family court decision under Missouri laws.
Understanding the Appeal Process
An appeal is a request for a higher court, known as the appellate court, to review and change the decision of the lower court. In Missouri, family law appeals are usually heard by the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Grounds for Appeal
It's important to note that an appeal is not a new trial. Instead, the appellate court reviews the proceedings of the lower court to determine if legal errors occurred that affected the case's outcome. Common grounds for appeal include:
- Misapplication of the law
- Evidentiary errors
- Procedural errors
- Decisions against the weight of the evidence
Filing an Appeal in Missouri
1. Notice of Appeal: The first step is to file a "Notice of Appeal" with the trial court clerk. This must be done within 30 days of the judgment or order.
2. Record on Appeal: The appellant must prepare a record on appeal, which includes transcripts of the trial proceedings and any relevant documents.
3. Appellate Brief: The appellant prepares and submits a written brief arguing why the decision should be overturned.
4. Oral Arguments: The appellate court may schedule oral arguments where each side presents their case.
5. Decision: The appellate court will issue a written decision, which could affirm, reverse, or modify the lower court's decision, or remand the case back to the lower court.
Role of an Attorney
Appealing a family court decision can be complex and time-consuming. A skilled Missouri family law attorney can help you navigate the appellate process, prepare your legal arguments, and represent you during oral arguments.
The decision to appeal a family court decision should not be taken lightly. It's crucial to understand the process and to have an experienced Missouri family law attorney by your side.