Based in Glen Burnie, MD. Handling family law appeals statewide.
A trial isn’t necessarily the end of family law matters. If you’re unhappy with a court’s decision, you may be able to pursue an appeal. Alternatively, you could find yourself defending the trial outcome if the other party appeals the ruling.
At Jimeno & Gray, our experienced appellate attorneys can explain your options and help you navigate the appeals process. Our main office is in Glen Burnie, MD, but we serve clients across Maryland. Call 443-232-9385 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our family law appeals team.
What You Should Know About Family Law Appeals
An appeal is not a re-trial. You can’t call witnesses or submit new evidence. Appellate courts simply analyze the trial transcript and any evidence presented during the trial to assess whether the original judge:
- Made wrong factual findings
- Committed legal errors
- Abused their discretion
The goal of an appeal isn’t to decide whether the trial judge made a correct ruling but whether they reached the ruling according to the law.
This is a highly technical process that requires knowledge of family law and appellate procedure, rigorous research, and persuasive legal arguments. Not just any attorney will do. Fortunately, our family lawyers have the training and experience to handle appellate work.
What Does the Maryland Appeals Process Involve?
If you disagree with the decision of a family law court, you can typically request an appeal within thirty days of the final judgment’s entry.
To start the process, you must:
- File an electronic Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Court of Maryland
- Order a trial transcript from the circuit court that heard the trial
You may also need to submit paper copies of certain documents.
Note that the appellate court may order you and the other party to attempt mediation first. If the court doesn’t order mediation or the mediation is unsuccessful, each side must file a written argument known as a brief. The court then sets a date for an appeal hearing, during which all parties present their oral arguments.
After hearing all arguments and reviewing the trial record and available evidence, the appellate court makes a ruling. The ruling can either reaffirm the trial decision or send the case back to the trial court to correct an error. Depending on the error, the appellate court may order the trial judge to:
- Reconsider the facts
- Consider additional evidence
- Modify the original decision
What if You’re Unhappy With the Appellate Ruling?
You may be able to make a second appeal to the highest appellate court in the state, the Supreme Court of Maryland. However, the court can refuse to consider a further appeal. In that case, the appellate court ruling stands.
Talk to an Experienced Family Law Appeals Attorney
Are you looking to challenge or defend a court decision related to child custody, spousal support, property division, or another family law matter?