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Appealing Family Law Decisions.

For your appeal to become successful, you will have to prove a mistake or wrong application of the law.

Appeals against the decisions of the courts in England and Wales are deliberately restricted and the statistics show the vast majority of appeals are not successful. That said, there are cases where a decision warrants an appeal and the team at Fletcher Day have a good track record of being able to successfully run family court appeals.

Do you think you need legal help with an appeal?

Call the family law team to discuss your options

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7870 3877

or email:

When and when not to appeal

Before appealing it pays to carefully consider your position. Sometimes some decisions allow you to re-apply to court and make a fresh application after a particular time or once a particular set of circumstances are fulfilled. Your legal team need to carefully review this before proceeding and it may be that there is another solution that is less expensive and costly than embarking on an appeal.

If you do want to appeal, you will need to demonstrate that any decision you are appealing is wrong or unjust or there was a serious procedural or other irregularity with the decision being appealed against. This is something we can consider with you and is deliberately set up to be a difficult test so that not every litigant decides to appeal. We will therefore need to carefully consider any judgment or transcript you have.

What is the appeal procedure

Family court appeals often have quite tight time limits (21 days is common but does not apply to every decision) and, if you miss a time limit you will have to apply for permission and explain any delay in bringing the appeal. This makes for a further level of complexity in any application.

“Appeals are a difficult area but we have a remarkable record in the team of results that very much go against the grain. We also some reported cases which are a testament to the hard work we put into ensuring our client’s cases are presented before the Court.”

Julius Brookman

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    I have only just received my transcript and it took over 21 days, do I still need to apply for permission?

    Yes. However, provided you bring your appeal as soon as practical, the delay is likely to be easily explicable.

    I was not allowed to give evidence in court or present my case and told to "sit down" by the Judge who then made findings against me. Is this procedural unfairness?

    It may be procedural unfairness but it depends on your case and what was being decided and also at what point you were told to sit down. We can certainly review your position with a full look at the papers.

    I had a judgment made against me where the Judge made a number of comments about the Law and then said they were going to ignore the past decision and make their own decision anyway. Does that mean I can appeal?

    Judges are carefully trained to be neutral and weigh up the case law carefully. If you had a judgment made against you where an important decision in the Case Law was ignored, you may be able to appeal on the basis the decision was wrong in law. We would however need to carefully review the judge’s reasoning before appealing.