What is an Appeal in a Family Law matter?
In an Appeal, you are seeking a higher court (i.e. the Family Court of Australia or the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, as appropriate) to set aside a decision made by a Judicial Officer of the lower court (i.e. the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (to the Family Court) or the Family Court of Australia (to the Full Court).
It is important to note that an Appeal is not a re-hearing of the original dispute.
It is an examination of whether the law was applied correctly in your case. To succeed, you must show that the Judicial Officer of the lower court applied the law incorrectly.
Often, the law permits a Judicial Officer to make one of a range of decisions.
If your Appeal is successful, the court determining the Appeal may make a different order to the one made by the Judicial Officer, or order a retrial.
Your Appeal will be dismissed if it is unsuccessful.
If your Appeal is dismissed, it is likely that you will be ordered to pay some or all of the other party’s costs of the appeal.
Do I need a lawyer to appeal or can I do it myself?
It is strongly recommended that you obtain independent legal advice in relation to an Appeal.
Even if you propose to conduct an Appeal yourself, it is important to obtain independent legal advice on whether you have valid legal grounds to appeal. An Appeal will only be successful if the judge has not applied the law correctly.
Therefore, in order to be successful you must be able to convince the Appeal court of how the law should have been interpreted.
This will require you to develop an argument that may be quite technical and complex.
Do you wish to lodge a Family Law Appeal? Contact us
We at Corney and Lind Lawyers can give you independent and expert legal advice in relation to the following:
- Define whether you have a legal issue suitable for consideration on Appeal;
- Provide practical options available to you; and
- Explain the costs, practices and procedures involved in Appeal litigation.