Appealing the Orders

What Can You Do About it?

So you lost a hearing in family law and the unthinkable has been ordered…whatever that is.

You may ask the court to reconsider the issue based on new evidence or law. This is called a Motion for Reconsideration and it must be filed within ten days of receiving the order. Note that this does not apply to family code 2030 fee orders. Also, the court may reconsider its orders at any time on its own. Reconsideration motions to toll the time during which you may appeal.

You may also ask the court to set aside its orders. This is done pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 473. The time limit is six months. The motion must allege mistake facts or law.

You may also ask for set aside under the family code at 2120-2129. Such a set aside is meant to facilitate disclosures. Similarly the time frame is six months. Such motions cover marriage and separation but may not be brought regarding the issue of paternity. Such motions stem from actual fraud or perjury within a one year time limit – two years for duress. A mistake re a stipulated judgment has a one year time limit – whereas mental incapacity carries a two year limit.

You may also consider a motion to vacate or for new trial under California Code of Civil Procedure 656-662.5 and 663.2. This applies to judgments and appealable orders. Such motion is based on accident, surprise, new evidence, excessive or inadequate damages, insufficiency of evidence, or error in law. These motions must be brought before entry of judgment and within 15 days of notice.

You may want to consider filing a writ or appeal with the court of appeals. Such appeals must be filed within 60 days. Writs must be filed within a reasonable time limit. Appeals are confined to the record and pleadings. Writs allow more broad discussion.

All of the above-discussed motions etc. are technical in nature and you would be well-served to be represented by a licensed attorney.

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