Can I Appeal a Family Law Case in North Carolina?

2-1024x1024Can I Appeal a Family Law Case in North Carolina?

Family law cases can often be complex, and the situation can be extremely emotional for both parties. There is no doubt that there are times when one party may feel that the decisions made by the judge are unjust or simply wrong. Disputes are common in divorce cases and parties may disagree regarding issues such as child custody, visitation, support, and division of property. You may wonder whether there is an option that will allow the court to review or reconsider the outcome. As with most legal procedures, there is an appellate process for family law cases.


Grounds for Appeal

In order to challenge a family court decision, you must have grounds for appeal. Either party has the right to appeal a court decision, but it is imperative that you understand the reasons why an appeal may be possible. Some of the reasons or grounds for appeal include the misapplication of law, the misinterpretation of evidence, and procedural errors that occurred in the proceeding.


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Property Division Appeals

The division of property in a divorce in North Carolina must be equitable. Some property matters can be quite complex, and the result could be an unequal distribution of assets. A party may want to dispute the improper classification of assets, such as property that was owned by a party prior to marriage. Another potential dispute may happen when debts are shared even though they occurred prior to marriage. In some cases, property might be divided without adequate valuation.


Child Custody, Visitation, and Support Appealsa-helping-hand-2-1439048-1024x958

In some instances, a parent may feel that the court did not properly review the relevant factors in determining child custody. The parent might be able to show that the judge did not properly apply relevant legal principles. If the court ordered an incorrect amount of child support, the parent may be able to present evidence to support that conclusion. If the court fails to evaluate important factors, the parent may want to appeal the decision.


What is the Appellate Process?

Challenging a family law court order begins by identifying the legal grounds for appeal. An experienced family law attorney will assist in reviewing the original proceedings and help determine whether an appeal has merit. You will want to keep in mind that filing an appeal can be costly, but the judge may request the other party to pay your legal fees if you win the case. Matters related to appealing a family law decision can be complicated. The North Carolina Court of Appeals reviews the original trial transcripts to identify legal errors that were made. Not all appeals are successful, and the process can be lengthy and stressful in some cases. You will need to discuss the details of your case with your attorney to learn the possible pros and cons related to your specific appeal.


It is possible to appeal a family law decision if the court made a mistake or a legal error occurred. If you feel that a court decision was made improperly or unfairly, you may be able to file an appeal. Contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.






The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.




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