Family law appears are an especially unique aspect of family law. One of our lawyers has extensive experience with family law appeals. He has won appeals at every level of appellate court in Ontario, including the court of appeal. Whether you want to bring an appeal or defend an appeal, a Divorce Source lawyer can help you with your case.
One of our lawyers has a passion for the law and for appeals. If you bring your appeal to Divorce Source, we will be sure to review the decision and the evidence, and provide you with our opinion on whether the appeal has an arguable chance of succeeding or not. Because law can be unpredictable, we will never provide guarantees or percentage chances of success; we will however give you guidance on the merits of the appeal.
What’s Involved in an Appeal
An appeal involves a review by a higher court of a lower court’s decision. Every litigant has the right to at least one appeal of a higher decision. Appellate courts are an important part of the justice system, as they ensure lower court judges have not made reviewable errors in their fact-finding roles and application of law to the facts.
While all decisions are difficult to appeal, family law decisions have an extra difficult element because of the discretion given to lower court family law judges. Appellate courts give a lot of “deference” to lower court judges in family law cases. However, there are times when errors do occur which require appellate court intervention. For example, if a lower court judge gets important facts significantly wrong or misapplies the law, it is possible that such decisions will be overturned.
What is the Appeals Process?
Appeals in family law matters have complicated filing requirements which make having a lawyer very important. Besides the different materials that need to be filed, even the choice of appellate court is sometimes challenging to figure out because of complex procedural rules. Many appeals have different forms and are done under different rules than a regular family law case.
Appeals involve a different process and type of lawyer-client relationship than a normal case. In an appeal, it is rare, though not impossible, that any new evidence is provided. In other words, you must rely on the evidence that was given at the original hearing. Therefore, the appeal is focused on what the errors are in the decision and not actually preparing to give evidence for the first time. Appeals are also often focused on law, and it is the role of the lawyer to find caselaw which supports the appeal. The law that will assist you may depend on whether you are the one appealing or you are the one responding to the appeal. Therefore, most appeal work is done by the lawyer with little “heavy lifting” by the client. This is in contrast to a regular case where Divorce Source lawyers expect the client to be a partner in making the case run smoothly, including by providing disclosure, being organized with documents and facts, and working to ensure the facts of a case are presented clearly and persuasively.
Divorce Source lawyers can help you with an appeal. At Divorce Source, you can count on knowledgeable, professional lawyers to help you through a difficult time in your life and help ensure your appeal is conducted properly.