Appealing a Divorce or Other Family Court Decision?

When you receive a bad result, you may need to file an appeal. One appeal is all you get, so you need an experienced Colorado family law attorney who has a track record of success.

Kaplan Law L.L.C. has the knowledge and experience needed to represent you in the appellate court. Not all lawyers who handle appeals understand the practical aspects of working on a case from the start. With more than 30 years of experience our founding attorney has not only handled a broad range of family law matters, but has shaped Colorado law through successful appeals.

Only About 20 Percent Of Cases Are Reversed On Appeal.

Appellate courts do not re-try cases, and they are usually limited to reviewing evidence presented at the original hearing. Most reversals occur after a lower court judge interprets the law incorrectly, admits evidence in error or does not support the judgment with sufficient facts.

The odds against reversal mean that the initial presentation of a case at the trial court is critical and that the record created can make or break the appeal. On appeal, the key is to focus on legal issues which could sway the appellate judges to rule in your favor. Making a persuasive argument and being able to identify the key issues are legal arts. This is one reason why so few lawyers are successful on appeal.

A Snapshot Of A Few Cases We Have Handled On Appeal

In re Marriage of Burke
Husband successfully challenged the trial court’s determination that court lacked jurisdiction to modify his spousal support obligation. Appellate Court adopted husband’s position that the trial court retained jurisdiction to modify spousal maintenance, where decree provided that the court specifically retained jurisdiction “as provided by law.”

In re Marriage of Mraz
Although the court did not find in favor of mother’s argument that the court was prohibited from appointing a parenting coordinator due to her allegations of past domestic abuse, the court did rule that the trial court erred in the length of appointment and in assigning the duties of a special master to the parenting coordinator. The parenting coordinator may make recommendations as to resolution of parenting disputes, but cannot issue binding decisions absent agreement of the parties. Further, the appellate court agreed with mother that the trial court failed to make findings sufficient to modify decision-making and exceeded its statutory authority pertaining to relocation orders.

Schultz v. Boston Stanton
Legal malpractice case. Plaintiff contends the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The Court of Appeals agrees. If a trial court judgment is based on determinations of multiple issues — any of which standing independently would be sufficient to support the result — the judgment is not conclusive with respect to any of the issues standing alone.

In re Marriage of Goodbinder
In post-dissolution of marriage proceeding, the trial court denied father’s bill of costs following his successful appeal of an earlier judgment and sentence for contempt. Father appealed.

In re Marriage of Mohrlang
Former husband appealed from order of the Morgan County District Court valuing his interest as beneficiary in trust in dissolution action.

In re Marriage of Page
Wife appealed from decision of the Douglas County District Court dividing parties’ property and denying her request for attorney fees.

To learn more about our appellate practice, please call us at 303-458-5500 or send an email. We also accept referrals from other family law practitioners who do not handle appeals.