Our firm is experienced with handling appeals in family law cases. When one party is not satisfied with the outcome of a court judgment or feels the judge made a mistake, that party can file an appeal, which asks a higher court to review the case and change the decision.
In Colorado, there are no dedicated family law courts, so all family law cases are determined in the District Court, either by a magistrate or a District Court Judge. In general, litigants in pre-decree cases can file a Non-Consent to Magistrate Review form, but this must happen immediately after the case is filed. This is particularly important when it comes to the appellate process. If the final orders are entered by a magistrate instead of a District Court Judge, your appellate rights and procedure are completely different. Additionally, if the orders are entered by a magistrate, the litigant’s rights to post-trial relief (such as a motion for a new trial) may be extremely limited. Multi-jurisdictional cases can make all of this even more complicated.
Not every appeal is successful; in some situations, modifying the divorce decree can be a more productive way to change the terms of your divorce, such as if there are substantial changes in income – up or down – for either spouse that justify a request for changes in maintenance and child support responsibilities. On appeal, the trial court’s decision in a divorce case usually cannot be changed unless there was a clear error in interpretation of the law; issues of fact or the availability of new evidence or witness testimony can be irrelevant. Whatever you choose to do, we can guide you through the process and provide essential expert representation.