Appeal – how to appeal a family order

There are many situations where one or both parties will not be happy with a final order and will want to find out whether they can appeal it. That is, for a higher court to make an order which reverses the original one.

The only people who can appeal an order are the parties in those proceedings. The route to appeal is time-limited and the procedure is strict. Firstly, permission must be sought by the court before a substantive application can be made.

Permission must only be granted by the court if it considers that the appeal would have a real prospect of success or if there is some other compelling reason for the appeal to be heard. It is important to be aware that the court also has the power to grant ‘limited’ permission i.e. the appellant is only permitted to apply on certain issues.

Once permission is granted, the appellant can make his substantive application to court and there are strict rules and time limited which must be adhered to. The court has the power to:

  • Affirm, set aside or vary any judgment made or given by the lower court.
  • Refer any application or issue for determination by the lower court.
  • Order a new hearing.
  • Make orders for the payment of interest.
  • Make a costs order

An appeal will be allowed if the decision was found to be:

  • Wrong.
  • Unjust because of a serious procedural or other irregularity in the proceedings in the lower court

Appeals are notoriously complex in nature and if you are looking to appeal an order, it is vital that you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible so that you are fully aware of your options. Due to the strict time limits, an application may be refused if you leave it too late. Serving Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes, our lawyers can help you with your family law and divorce matters. Contact us for a free consultation with our experienced solicitors.


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