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Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco Divorce Appeals Attorney

San Francisco Divorce Appeals Attorney

It is not uncommon for a party to a divorce case to be dissatisfied with the final outcome. Particularly in contested divorces, one or both ex-spouses may feel the judge wrongly decided certain issues. And they may wish to seek review of such contested decisions by filing an appeal.

An experienced San Francisco divorce appeals attorney can advise and guide you through this process. Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP is a California family law firm that represents clients throughout the Bay Area in post-divorce proceedings. We can review what happened at your divorce trial, identify potential issues for an appeal, and present your case to the appellate court.

How Appeals Work in California Family Law Cases

In California, the Superior Court issues final divorce decrees. Either party may appeal the decree by filing a Notice of Appeal with the appropriate District Court of Appeal. For divorce cases in San Francisco, that is the First District Court of Appeal. The Notice of Appeal must typically be filed within 60 days of the Superior Court clerk serving you with notice of the judgment.

An appeal is not a re-trial. That is to say, the Court of Appeal will not reverse the Superior Court simply because you disagree with the trial judge’s ruling. Valid grounds for a divorce appeal include:

  • Legal Error: The trial judge failed to apply the law correctly to your case.
  • Abuse of Discretion: The trial judge exceeded their authority or made decisions that were not supported by the facts.
  • New Evidence: While the Court of Appeal generally will not re-weigh the evidence presented at trial, it can consider any newly discovered evidence, such as assets hidden by one spouse during the divorce proceedings.
  • Due Process: The trial judge somehow violated the constitutional or due process rights of one of the parties.

After filing a Notice of Appeal, both sides will then prepare and submit written briefs to the Court of Appeal. The appellate court considers the briefs together with the record of the trial. In some cases, the Court of Appeal will ask both sides to present oral arguments. This gives the appellate judges an opportunity to ask questions of both sides about their legal arguments. Once the case is submitted, the Court of Appeal will then issue its judgment.

If you win a divorce appeal, the appellate court may order a new trial on the disputed issue or grant other relief. If you lose the appeal, the trial judge’s ruling stands. Regardless of the outcome, either side could file a Petition for Review with the California Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has the discretion to decide which appeals to hear, however, and only grants petitions in limited circumstances.

Contact the San Francisco Divorce Appeals Attorney at Cardwell Steigerwald Young Today

Appealing a divorce often takes several months, if not years, and requires detailed understanding of not just your divorce case but also California law and civil procedure. It is therefore in your best interest to work with a qualified San Francisco divorce appeals attorney if you are contemplating seeking further review of your case. Call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

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