If you disagree with the ruling of a family court judge after a final
hearing, you may have the right to appeal that unfavorable decision.
The attorneys here at ADAM do not file family law appeals. However, we do work very closely with an appellate attorney if an appeal becomes necessary. Winning on appeal starts at the trial court level, and we know that more than anyone from years of experience in divorce and family law trials and court hearings. As the old saying goes, time is of the essence because in most Michigan family law cases you have only a limited time to file an appeal. The deadline in which you need to file an appeal is measured beginning with the date the judge signs the order or judgment that you want to appeal. That can be days or weeks after the actual court hearing has occurred.
At ADAM we can give you advice regarding what went on at the trial court level, and where you should be going now. If there is additional work to be done by a trial attorney prior to the work on appeal, we can help with that as well. There may even be ways to extend the time allowed for appeal by, for example, filing a motion for reconsideration. If you are considering appealing a court decision, be sure to contact us right away for advice.
There are two types of appeals in Michigan family law, appeal by right and an appeal by leave. Only final orders are appealable by right, which includes most divorce judgments and other post-divorce court orders affecting child custody or orders regarding attorney fees. Court orders after a judgment (for example, a divorce judgment) has been entered are not appealable by right. Those types of orders must be appealed by leave of the court, these include orders granting or denying modification of parenting time, child support or spousal support, or other orders that occur after a judgment entered completing the case.
An appeal by right on property, spousal support and financial issues can typically take between one to two years from initial filing to a final opinion by the Court of Appeals. The time line can vary, but that is a general idea of the amount of time involved. An appeal by right regarding custody orders can be completed much quicker than other types of family law appeals. Most custody appeals cases can generally be completed in about one year.
Although ADAM attorneys are not handling the appeal to the Court of Appeals, we do work hand in hand with appellate court attorneys. Furthermore, should the Court of Appeals return the case to the trial court for additional proceedings, we stand ready to fight for you in the next phase. The advice you get now can greatly impact your chances on appeal, and affect the outcomes of your case going forward.