Everything You Need To Know About Family Law Appeals and Orders from the Supreme Court of New York
A guide by the Family Law Appellate Attorneys at the Levowitz Law Firm

You may be wondering about the specifics of a family law appeal, the decision a request can make on your family law case, and more about the requirements during the appeal proceedings. It may be overwhelming to review all of your options if you are unsatisfied with the results of a Family law Court decision and it is based on an error. Read on to find out more information about Family Law Court Appeals in the New York State Appellate Courts.

What is an Appeal?

According to the New York State’s Appellate Court website, an appeal is when someone who believes there was an error of law applied asks an Appellate Court, a higher court, to review the decision and change it. The person who asks for the appeal is called the appellant, and the person on the other side of the appeal is called the respondent.

Only an order or Judgment made by a Judge in New York State from the Family Law court can be appealed on Family law-related issues. This means that a decision or judgment made by a divorce arbitrator or referee, made in family court mediation, or agreed to in a Divorce Settlement, can not be appealed to a higher court. Additionally, suppose you and your ex-spouse stipulated certain conditions in your divorce during settlement proceedings. In that case, you cannot appeal these decisions even if you were with your respective attorneys. You can only appeal court decisions made by the lower New York State Courts.

What are some possible outcomes of a Family Law Appeal?

Several possible outcomes of appealing a family law matter in New York State exist. It is not guaranteed that any of these results will result from your specific family law appeal. It all depends on you and your ex-spouse’s facts and circumstances, the reasons for your appeal, and the Appeals Court that decides on your appeal. The possible outcomes from a Family Law Appeal are:

● Reversal

A reversal in an appellate matter means that the New York State Appellate Courts decided that the previous decision in your family law matter was ruled on incorrectly, your previous decision is remanded, and a new judgment is rendered. The effect of remand is when the last decision in your family law case is “thrown out” and dismissed from the court system. That means you will no longer have to abide by the previous decision, and you will yield to the new conclusion that the Appellate Court rendered. This means that the earlier decision is void. Even if you change your mind after an appeal, you cannot rely on the conclusions made in the first- or lower court’s decision.

● Remand.

A remand occurs when the New York Appellate Court redirects your family law case back to the lower court in New York to be heard for a second time. Then, the lower court will listen to your family law case again and issue a new decision based on the findings during the second review of your case. During a remanded hearing, you may be able to present new evidence that you have gathered at that point and utilize new witnesses to speak on your behalf. Then, the court will issue a judgment based on the most recent hearing that was remanded. Then, whatever decision the lower court issues will be the final decision on your family law matter.

● Affirm.

When the New York Appellate Court affirms a decision in a family law matter, this means that the Appellate court agrees with the lower court decision. This means that the Appellate court finds the lower court’s decision to be correct in your family law case, which makes it the final decision in your case.

● Modification.

A modification occurs when the New York State Appellate Division replaces or changes a part of the initial decision on your family law court case and agrees with the rest of the decision. A modification could be utilized for many different aspects within family law court cases, such as for a modification of child support, alimony, or another aspect of your divorce proceedings. When the Appellate court issues its decision, it will explicitly spell out the changes they determined based on its findings.

Suppose you ever have questions about a potential outcome of a family law appeal or wish to pause or cancel an appeal. In that case, you can contact the knowledgeable and experienced Family Law attorneys at the Levoritz law firm for a free consultation.

How long do you have to file an Appeal with the New York State Appellate Courts?

You get 30 days to appeal a family court matter in the State of New York. According to the Appellate Courts in New York, the deadline for filing an appeal starts to run if you are served with a copy of the Order or Judgment with a Notice of Entry. If that happens, you only have 30 days to file your Notice of Appeal and 35 days if you are served by regular mail (not email).

What are some potential downsides of a Family Law Appeal?

Several potential downsides or adverse effects stem from a Family Law Appeal. These could include expensive court filing costs for the appealing spouse, additional costs for attorney’s fees, and the expenses associated with gathering materials for your record and court transcripts. It could also be cumbersome to bring your ex-spouse back to court to appeal your contested matter if your relationship with your ex-spouse is contentious. Before appealing a family law matter in Appellate Court, you should consider these concerns.

A knowledgeable and experienced appellate attorney can answer all your questions about a potential family law appeal, prepare you to appeal the decision, and ensure you meet all of the appeal deadlines. Contact the Levoritz Law Firm today for your free consultation or through our online form to arrange a consultation.


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