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Benefits Of An Appeal Attorney And What Are The Fees?

Appellate law requires specialized knowledge and skills, particularly in family law cases. Divorce appeals are not a chance for a new trial with new evidence, but must be based on specific grounds, such as errors by the lower court. Appellate attorneys draw on their deep knowledge of the laws pertaining to their practice areas to argue the finer points of law before the Court of Appeals, developing reasoned arguments to show the appellate court why the law was misapplied in the original decision, or elaborate the factors the trial court neglected to consider, and to demonstrate how these lapses resulted in an inappropriate decision by the lower court. Before pursuing an appeal, it is crucial to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks. To learn more, schedule a personalized consultation with an experienced family law appeal attorney at Colorado Divorce Law Group by calling (720) 593-6442 today. 

The Benefits of Working With a Family Law Appellate Attorney

Working with an attorney who is experienced with the family law appeals process offers many benefits. One of the biggest benefits is an appeal attorney has experience with the process that attorneys who do not practice appellate law may not. Strong knowledge of the appellate court’s requirements and case preparation can help the petitioner reach a favorable outcome. Appellate attorneys understand a strong case requires comprehensive research to make compelling legal arguments that establish the reason for appealing the lower court’s decision. An appeal may be in response to decisions on the following: 

  • Child custody arrangements 
  • Parenting plans and visitation 
  • Divorce and the division of marital property 
  • Spousal or child support 

The appeals process involves addressing only the potential legal mistakes that affected the lower court’s decision and final divorce decree. The appellate process is highly complex and requires substantial knowledge and litigation skills. During the free consultation, an appeal attorney with the Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to review the case to determine the probability of a positive outcome and answer specific questions.

How Much Does a Family Law Appeal Cost?

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch website, the filing fee to initiate the appeals process is $223.00, and the respondent’s fee is $148.00. The court also charges a fee for an appeal cost bond of $250 and $150 an hour for the cost of transcripts. Paying legal fees when working with an appellate lawyer is also necessary and can vary significantly. Most charge a non-refundable retainer fee, and the total cost depends on the number of hours spent working on the case. 

Per the Colorado Bar Association’s guidance, after a prospective client holds their initial meeting with an appeals lawyer, the attorney must provide their rate information in writing before they begin working on the case and charging an hourly rate. The statement of fees must address the basis for the rate and the additional expenses the client is responsible for covering. Finally, losing the case could mean paying the other party’s filing fees and legal costs if ordered by the court.

How To Appeal a Case in Colorado

Appealing a family court ruling requires following a specific process, including rigorous divorce appeals timeframes, as required by the appellate court regulations in Colorado. Disagreeing with the court’s decision is not grounds for filing an appeal. There must be evidence that a legal error played a role in the judge’s decision. There are two reasons for filing an appeal include: 

  • Errors of law (application or interpretation)
  • The family court judge abused their discretion

The potential outcomes of an appeal are reversal, remand, affirmation, and modification of the original order. When the appeals court finds the lower court’s ruling was based on legal errors, they reverse, also called vacate the order. If the appellate judge issues a remand, they send the case back to the lower court to hear it again. An affirmation issued by the appeals court indicates they agree with the lower court and the decision, and modifications involve changing part of the initial ruling. 

The Typical Steps in the Appeals Process

The basic steps in the appeals process include: 

  • Filing the appeal notice 
  • Payment of the filing fees 
  • Determination of Information to provide the appeals court
  • Pay fees necessary to order the trial transcripts 
  • Confirm the transfer of records to the appeals court 
  • Review the length and formatting requirements before drafting and filing the brief 
  • Await the appellate court’s decision 

While the courts often base their decisions on the written brief alone, they may also require an oral argument to present before the court, which requires careful planning and preparation. 

How Long Does an Appeal Take?

Most appeals cases take approximately one year from initiation to the final decision. However, the process could take up to three years for more complex cases requiring ongoing litigation. The Appeals Quick Guide from the Colorado courts explains that an appeal is a specific legal proceeding with different procedures and rules. 

What Happens if You Lose an Appeal?

Appealing a family court decision can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Further, if the appeal is unsuccessful, the lower court’s final decision stands, and the petitioner will typically have to pay for their attorney and cover the respondent’s legal fees. Filing another appeal could be an option, but careful consideration and review of the risks, including the potential for another unsuccessful appeal, is essential. 

Call an Experienced Family Law Appeal Attorney Today

Family court decisions can significantly impact your family, whether pertaining to divorce and property division or child custody arrangements. Appealing the district court’s decision may be appropriate when there is reason to believe the judge made an error, such as misapplying the law or the other party misrepresented the facts. However, please keep in mind that mistakes are uncommon and disagreeing with the order is not, in and of itself, legal grounds for an appeal. Schedule a consultation with a family law appeal attorney with Colorado Divorce Law Group today at (720) 593-6442 for more information and help with your case.