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How to Appeal a Family Court Order?


What are the conditions under which you can have an appeal?


When you apply for an Appeal, you have to ensure that it complies with the Family Procedure Rules. The rule in question is Part 30 of the Family Court Rules. You will also have to use the correct form while applying.


You will have to prove the judgement made by the Lower Court is either wrong or unjust. It means that there must have been some procedural mistakes in the order passed by the court. It is only through this that you can ensure your Appeal becomes successful.


For instance, if your judge makes a judgement that you think is wrong, you can proceed with your Appeal. If the Appeal Court finds the Lower Court's decision is correct, your Appeal will fail.

For your Appeal to become successful, you will have to prove a mistake or wrong application of the law. There is a higher chance that your Appeal will receive acceptance if you have a strong reason.


Once you present your Appeal, the Appeal Court will review the decision. However, they will not start working on it from the beginning. The Appeal Court will only evaluate the details present before the Lower Court makes the judgement. If you plan to appeal for a Child Arrangement Order, you can contact us here!


What are the other ways through which there can be a change in a court order?


Before you move forward with an Appeal for a decision made by the court, you can consider two different options. First, if you plan to go for an Appeal because of a lack of information in the court order, you can then request the court to provide you with an explanation. For that purpose, you will have to furnish a written document containing your queries. The questions need to be concerning a judgement that contradicts a piece of evidence. It is essential to present proof that supports your request.


Under such circumstances, it becomes a case of Material Omission. You will have to conduct this within the first seven days after the release of the court order. You can move forward with an Appeal if there is no response from the court. You can also make an appeal in the Appeal Court if you find the reply from the court dissatisfying.


As mentioned earlier, you need to have a genuine reason while you apply for an appeal. However, you can proceed with a financial order if the issue has a connection with monetary aspects. You can opt for it when your spouse does not disclose any financial matters related to the case. It could also be something that happens after the court makes a decision. If the details might play a pivotal role in the case, the court can form a new order. Here, the error is not on the part of the court. If you plan to proceed with a financial order, it is always beneficial to seek legal assistance.


These are the two other ways by which you can handle a court order without motioning an Appeal in the court.


Is it necessary for me to obey a court order after appealing? If the Appeal gets accepted, what happens to the judgement made by a Lower Court?


Yes, you will have to obey the court order even if you have appealed against it. Until your Appeal receives acceptance from the Appeal Court, the court order remains valid. However, you can stop the decision made by the court by filing for a stay order. The stay order could pause the court's judgement.


However, if your Appeal does not get accepted by the Appeal Court, the court order will become active again. You can apply for a stay order while you file your application for your Appeal. 


If your Appeal receives acceptance from an Appeal Court, the Appeal Court can come to three different conclusions based on the circumstances.

  • First, the Appeal Court can request that the Lower Court bring changes to the order.

  • Second, the Appeal Court can remove the judgement made by the Lower Court.

  • Third, the Appeal Court can ask the Lower Court to organize a rehearing for the case.


However, the Appeal Court will not consider any of the new pieces of evidence you might have if you did not present them during your initial hearing.

Do you need permission to motion your Appeal?


In most cases, you will require permission from the court to move forward with the Appeal. However, you don't need it under certain circumstances. They include:

  • If the magistrate makes the decision

  • If someone receives a prison sentence

  • If it is part of a social accommodation order

  • If it is due to Habeas Corpus


In these cases, you can apply directly to the Appealet Court. Concerning other orders, you can proceed to the Appeal Court if you fail to receive permission from the Lower Court.


However, here you will have to seek permission from the Appeal Court. You will have to do it before your case approaches the deadline. You can apply for this while you file your application for the Appeal. It is available within the same form.


If the court does not approve your request, you can opt for an oral hearing. However, you will have to do it within the next seven days. But, if the court finds it unnecessary, then you cannot move forward with it. If you wish to obtain permission from the court, it is essential to have a compelling reason and a real possibility of achieving the Appeal.


While you are preparing for the Appeal, you have to be careful and consider different points associated with the case. When you have a prospective Appeal, there is an increase in the chance of obtaining it from the Appeal Court.


What is the time duration to motion an Appeal to the court?


When you want to move an Appeal to the court, you must consider the time duration for applying. It varies from one order to the other that you receive.

As per EX 430 (as it reads on Date) it is summarised that the appellant need needs to act quickly. 

"Once the court has made its decision, you have a limited time in which to appeal.

You must file your appellant’s notice:

•    within the time limit set by the judge whose order you are appealing against;
•    in family proceedings where that judge has set no time limit but the appeal is against a case management decision or an interim care order under Section 38 (1) of the Children Act 1989, within seven days after the date of the decision you want to appeal against was made; and
•    if the judge sets no time limit, within 21 days of the decision you want to appeal against."


With an Interim Care Order, you will have to apply within the first seven days after its release. However, the time duration starts from the day of the hearing. For instance, if the court hearing is on March 12th, you will have to make the Appeal before March 18th.


Whereas on the other hand, when it is a final order passed by the court, you will have to move it within 21 days. However, the counting starts here, only after the hearing day. For instance, if the court comes up with its decision on March 7th, you have the time to apply for the Appeal within March 28th.


If you fail to apply for the Appeal within the above mentioned time duration, you must seek the court's permission to make the Appeal. For that purpose, you have to state why you weren't able to apply for the Appeal within the stipulated timescales. Along with that, you have to provide supporting documents and pieces of evidence too. If the court finds it convincing, your Appeal will receive consideration. If there is no good reason, the court will decline it.


Sometimes, there could be a delay in receiving the transcripts from the court. Under such circumstances, you have to apply for the Appeal along with an explanation. It can increase the chances of the court considering your Appeal.

What are the documents you have to provide while applying for an Appeal?


When you apply for an Appeal in the Appeal Court, you have to fill out a form and submit it to the court concerned. If you are moving forward with the Appeal to the High Court, you will have to complete Form FP161. With other courts, you have to provide Form N161. Whenever you are filling out these forms, you have to pay extra attention. Along with that, you need to include the reasons for applying for an Appeal. You have to mention what kind of order - final order or interim care order- it is. You can also explain the decisions you would like to receive as part of the Appeal.


However, it is pertinent that you focus on the readability of the documents you provide. Try to write them with bullet points and shorter sentences.


Apart from that, you can also furnish your arguments written down in detail. Here, you will have to provide explanations on all the points you have mentioned in the application. However, the written document has to be less than 25 pages, and you have to submit it within 14 days of filing your Appeal. Along with that, you need to attach other supporting documents. You can find their details on the form.


If you fail to provide any of these documents, you have to explain along with the form. You have to try to submit it before the Appeal Court handles the case.


What are the details you have to provide while applying for an Appeal?


When you start filling in the correct application form, you have to provide the case number and relevant details of both parties. In the next part, you have to provide all the details related to the Appeal. They include the court's name and the type of decision taken by the court. You will also have to inform the Appeal Court if there is a solicitor. If yes, provide the relevant information.

You have to seek permission from the court too. Here, you have to mention the reason behind the Appeal. Avoid providing any new pieces of evidence. Along with that, you have to mention the nature of the decision you would like to receive. You also have to provide all the supporting documents as mentioned in the form.


You can appeal on a non-molestation order with our help. You can contact us here!


How much money do you need to spend while motioning an Appeal?


When you apply for an Appeal, you must understand that you  may have to pay fees for the opposing side, if you were to lose the appeal. Along with that, if you have instructed a solicitor, you will have to provide legal fees for him or her.


Concerning a financial order, you have to look into how much money you would have to spend as part of the legal proceedings. It is only after considering them thoroughly that you should move forward with an Appeal.


Sometimes, it wouldn't be worthwhile to apply for an Appeal once you have evaluated the expenses. It is essential when it comes to financial order. You would likely have to consider these factors before you go for an Appeal.

What is a transcript?


A transcript refers to a written document that contains all the pieces of information presented during a court hearing. You can apply for the same by filling in Form Ex107. Here, you will have to make payments to the concerned authorities while requesting your case's transcript. You will have to mention the parts you require. You can also ask for the entire transcript of the court hearing or just portions of it. You need to get the whole transcript if you remember that there are some crucial points mentioned.


If you are not in a financial position to apply for a transcript by making a payment, you can request the court to facilitate it. You will have to provide Form EX105 and always refer to the guidance notes while completing it.


What to do if I cannot get the transcript while I am applying for an Appeal?


It is essential to facilitate a transcript of your case while you apply for an Appeal. However, sometimes you may not receive the transcript on time. Under such circumstances, you can move forward with the Appeal and mention that you are awaiting the transcript. It is a much better thing to do than delaying your application.


Sometimes there might not be a transcript for your case. Here, you can rely upon the notes taken while making the final judgement. If you have instructed a lawyer, you can obtain it from him or her. If you do not have legal assistance, you can request the other party to provide you with their notes.

Under certain circumstances, you can always request your judge's or legal advisor's notes. You can provide it as a supplement to support your case.

Where can I appeal for decisions from Family Court and do I need permission?


The information in where you can appeal for decisions from Family Court and do you need permission, has been derived from the details provided by as of 08 April 2021.

The decision of the Judge in the family court
Appeal to
Do you need permission?
A bench consisting of Magistrates
A Judge who is in the rank of a Circuit Judge or High Court Judge in a Family Court
A Judge who is in the rank of a District Judge
A Judge who is in the rank of a Circuit Judge or High Court Judge in a Family Court
A District Judge processing financial remedies
A High Court level Judge in the Family Court
A Senior District Judge from the Family Division who is in charge of processing financial remedies
Same as above
Circuit Judge or Recorder in all the cases except those mentioned below
High Court Judge in the High Court
Circuit Judge or Recorder 1. If the appeal is based on the decisions of Part four or five of the Children Act 1989 or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 2. If it bases on the court’s jurisdiction on contempt of court 3. If it is on a decision already taken on appeal to the family court
Court of Appeal
High Court Judge level Judges
Court of Appeal
Costs Judge
A High Court level Judge in the Family Court
For other Judges that we haven’t mentioned above
Court of Appeal
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