Family law cases often involved intense emotions, especially if there are young children in the family. Parents breaking up and married couples divorcing have to cooperate with the courts to divide their parenting responsibilities and also their financial obligations and resources.
It is common for an Arkansas divorce or custody case to result in both parents feeling angry and disappointed with the outcome. For example, neither parent may like needing to share the holidays, and the parent paying support may feel like they can’t cover their own bills while the parent receiving it feels the same way.
Occasionally, those unhappy with the outcome of a family law case can go back to court and appeal the original ruling. What are viable reasons to request an appeal in family court?
The most common and viable grounds for an appeal is a misinterpretation of the law. Sometimes, judges don’t reach the right conclusion when reviewing the family’s circumstances in the context of the Arkansas family code. If a judge’s decision is contrary to standard practices and established law in the state, then you can potentially appeal based on their legal mistake.
An undisclosed conflict of interest
Did you find out after your divorce that your attorney is your ex’s second cousin or that the judge presiding over their case is one of your ex’s former clients at their professional practice? When there is a relationship that went undisclosed that may have created personal or financial incentives for the judge to rule in a particular way, you may have grounds to appeal the decision and have a more neutral judge or an attorney looking out for your best interest handle the case.
Ineffective assistance of counsel
When you hire a family law attorney, you expect them to understand the law and give you appropriate advice. Sometimes, lawyers do such a poor job representing their clients or make such major mistakes in court that their clients can request an appeal due to the attorney’s failures.
There are other, less common situations that can lead to appeals, such as witness tampering. Knowing when you have the right to appeal a family law matter can help you assert yourself as you navigate the Arkansas court system.