How to Write an Appeal for Family Law Court

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Before you will be able to write an appeal to a family court decision, you will need to determine the proper jurisdiction for your case. Because the rules governing each state's court system varies, the court that hears family court appeals will vary. You can verify the exact procedure for your jurisdiction by speaking to a private licensed attorney or pro bono legal service, such as Legal Aid.

Determine how long you have to file your appeal. In most jurisdictions, you will have 15 to 45 days to prepare and file your paperwork.

File a notice of appeal. In order to begin the appeals process, you will need to prepare a written document stating that you would like to appeal the family court's decision. This document must be prepared in compliance with the rules of your jurisdiction.

Outline the grounds on which you are appealing the family court's decision. Your notice of appeal should list what specific part of the family court decision you believe was made in error.

Prepare a brief that outlines the family law court's errors. After filing your notice of appeal, you will need to prepare a detailed brief that explains the reasons why you think the family court's decision was flawed. You will need to list supporting facts and cite pertinent case law and rules in your brief.

Sign and date your documents. In doing so, you are certifying that everything you have written is correct to the best of your understanding.


  • Because the rules for appellate cases are significantly more complex than the procedures in lower court cases, consider hiring an attorney. Even small errors in procedure can result in the court dismissing your case.


  • If you cannot afford the court costs associated with your appeal, apply for indigent status with the clerk of the court. If the court determines that you qualify, you will likely have those fees waived.



About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.