A first and normal emotive reaction after losing a trial and reading a judgment is to insist upon an appeal. Every time we read an article in the media about a high profile case we are often confronted with images of lawyers stating strongly that their client will be appealing the judgment. This no doubt, leads to a false sense of belief in the community that appeals are common and that there are reasonable prospects of success in most appeals.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you are upset at a decision that you received in the Family Court for children or property matters then you should get expert advice about the prospects of an appeal before even contemplating embarking upon an appeal.
The appeal process is extremely expensive and time-consuming.
Even if the Appeal Court thinks that they would have decided your matter in a different manner this does not mean that you will be successful on an appeal. Usually, the decision that your appeal is from must be so outside a reasonable exercise of discretion that it must be overturned. In other words, you may be upset because your spouse received 60% of the assets and it wasn’t a 50% – 60% split. The Judges on the Appeal Court may be of the view that if they had heard the matter they would have given you 50% but because of the facts of your case, the range of outcomes was 50/60%. In that situation, the 60% Order whilst high would still not be outside the range of possible outcomes.
Therefore, if contemplating an Appeal, remember that there is a very high threshold to overcome in most matters and the number of appeals that are successful are minimal. Expert advice from an Accredited Family Law Specialist is essential before embarking or considering embarking on such an avenue.