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Understanding Family Law Appeals

Oct. 24, 2021

One of the best aspects of the Tennessee judiciary system is the ability to file an appeal after receiving a judgment in civil court. According to statistics from the Annual Report of the Tennessee Judiciary, there were 848 total appeals filed in the Tennessee Court of Appeals in the Fiscal Year 2019-2020. When a family law case ends with an unsatisfactory or unfavorable result, filing an appeal can help get the judgment reviewed, modified, or overturned.

Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to providing knowledgeable guidance and brilliant advocacy to clients who feel their family law case was wrongly or unfairly decided. As an experienced Tennessee family law attorney, he is available to discuss your unique circumstances, review the trial court order, and outline an effective strategy to appeal the family law judgment. Shannon A. Jones will fight compassionately to protect your appeal rights and attempt to get the appellate judges to overturn the unjust family law decision. His firm, S.A. Jones Law, proudly serves clients throughout Memphis, Covington, Cordova, and Germantown, Tennessee.

What Decisions Can Be Appealed?

Under Tennessee laws, either party in a family law case can appeal a court order. You can file an appeal to challenge the court’s decision on any of the following family law matters:

  • Divorce

  • Spousal support or alimony awards

  • Child custody

  • Visitation

  • Child support payments

  • Establishing paternity

  • Asset or property division

  • Domestic violence injunctions

  • Paternity fraud

An experienced attorney can review all of the surrounding facts of your case, enlighten you about the appellate timelines, and determine the best course of action.

Appellate Timelines

Under Tennessee laws, the party who wishes to bring the appeal (the appellant) must file a notice of appeal with the trial court clerk within thirty days after the trial court (lower court) enters the final decree. The Tennessee Court of Appeals adheres to strict deadlines. If you delay or fail to file your appeal within the specified deadline, you may lose your opportunity to appeal the decision forever.

Appeals Process Overview

The Tennessee Court of Appeals hears appeals in civil cases from trial courts. The family law appeal process begins when the appellant files a notice of appeal with the trial court clerk. Also, you are required to provide a copy of the notice of appeal to the other party.

The appellant will obtain transcripts of the court hearings. With the help of your attorney, you will state the basis of your appeal and craft a compelling appellate brief and oral argument. Your attorney can help prepare and file the appellate brief outlining your arguments for the appeal.

The respondent may file a brief response to your arguments and a hearing will be scheduled. During the appeal hearing, a panel of three appellate judges will listen to oral arguments from both sides, review the case, and make a decision.

Possible Outcomes

After the panel of three appellate judges hears both party’s arguments, they will make their decision. There are three possible outcomes:

  • The panel may uphold the original ruling.

  • The panel may reverse the original ruling.

  • The appellate court may return (“remand”) the case to the trial court with specific instructions regarding how the family law case should be concluded. The appellate court may also order the lower court to schedule a hearing for additional proof on certain facts of the appeal.

Arguing an appellate case in Tennessee requires extensive knowledge and legal understanding. An experienced attorney can help present your case diligently and attempt to persuade the panel to modify or overturn the trial court’s judgment.

Let Experienced Legal Counsel Fight to Protect Your Rights

Family law orders are not permanent or impossible to change. If you have good reasons to believe that there was a mistake or legal error in the divorce, property division, or parenting plan decree entered by the lower courts, you can file an appeal challenging the decision. An experienced family law attorney can evaluate your unique situation and help advocate for your legal rights.

As your legal counsel, Shannon A. Jones can review all of the surrounding facts of your unique situation and determine whether the circumstances warrant filing an appeal. He will help you understand the filing procedure and requirements, draft a compelling appellate brief, and guide you through every phase involved in the legal proceedings.

Contact S. A. Jones Law today to schedule a simple consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney. Shannon A. Jones can advocate for your legal rights and fight for what rightfully belongs to you. The firm is proud to serve clients throughout Memphis, Covington, Cordova, and Germantown, Tennessee.