top of page
  • Writer's pictureCourt Help Limited

How to Appeal Against a Family Court Order

Updated: Mar 1


1. What is an appeal in Family Law?

What is an appeal in Family Law?

An appeal is the process by which an appellant (a party in the original court order) wants to change or edit an order by a court or tribunal by getting it reconsidered by a higher court (an appeal court).

if an appeal is successful the higher court may make override and make changes to the original order.

When can you appeal in the Family Courts?

When can you appeal in the Family Courts?

To appeal an order, you must have the proper legal grounds to do so, by either:

  • Being able to prove that the decision was wrong because of a serious mistake,

  • Or that procedure was not properly followed.

If you are unsure whether your grounds for appeal are valid or not, it may be advisable to contact a legal representative or agency for a consult before spending time or money on an appeal. Firms like Court Help Limited can help you for much cheeper costs than others, and you can contact us quickly right here.

You can appeal Non-Molestation Orders, Occupation Orders and Child Arrangement Orders such as Prohibited Steps Orders and Interim Care Orders, amongst others.

Will I won the appeal ?

This is not a yes or no answer, it depends on the strength of your appeal, the grounds and the arguments, along with following the timelines and procedures.

What do you need to do before you make an appeal?

Before beginning the lengthy process of an appeal, it is important to consider the following.

Permission may be needed to appeal

In the majority of cases, you will need the permission of a judge to actually appeal. (This wouldn't apply if permission to appeal was already granted at the hearing).

The judge will review your appeal and only grant permission if he or she believes that the appeal is on reasonable grounds and has a chance at succeeding in the court.

You Must Act Quickly

How long do i have to appeal?

Once a court provides its judgment or decision, you will have a limited time to appeal against the judgment.

You have to file the appellant's notice within a specific time frame which could be;

  • Already decided by the judge whose decision you are appealing against.

  • In the case of any family proceedings where the judge has not set a time limit, but the appeal is about case managements, or interim care orders under the provisions of Section 38 (1) of the Children Act 1989, then you can appeal against the decision within 7 days from the order date.

  • And finally, if there is no specific time limit set by the judge, then you can appeal against the decision of the family court within 21 days from the date of judgment.

Legal Advice may be required

Please note that court staff are not able to give legal advice about whether you should appeal or not, as this is dependent on each person's details of their specific case.

Therefore, the court recommends talking to a legal firm before making the decision to appeal, as well as having them help with the appeal so there's a higher chance of it being accepted. Firms like ourselves, Court Help Limited can help you with any appeals in family law, and you can give us a call on 07375757510.

You may have to pay a fee

Usually, when you appeal, you will have to a pay a nominal court fee.

However, fees may be reduced or completely removed if you have a low income, receive certain benefits or only have a small amounts of savings and/or investments.

If you feel you may be eligible for fee remission (reduced or removed fees), you would have to apply on the website.

Costs may be awarded against you

In case you lose the appeal, you may be ordered to pay the other partys cost including the cost of their legal representative if the opposite party has one.

Do I need permission to appeal?

You do not need permission to appeal against a decision of a Lay Magistrate in the Family Court.

You will need permission to appeal from the appeal court if:

  • You did not ask for permission during or at the time of your hearing

  • You asked for the permission but the request to appeal was denied #

Please remember that a judge will only grant permission to appeal if he or she feels that there is a real chance of success in the appeal and there are some valid grounds on which your appeal needs to be heard.

How do I apply for permission to appeal?

How do I apply for permission to appeal?

If you have not obtained permission to appeal from the court, then you have to make an application for permission to appeal in the appellant's notice form. Depending on the type of proceedings and court, the appellant's notice form will vary. It could either be: N161, N164 or FP161. These can all be found on the website.

You can use the same form to ask for both:

  • Permission to appeal

  • Actually appealing

Each of the aforesaid forms will contain detailed guidance notes which you must read carefully before starting. The notes will guide you how to fill the form, what documents you need to attach with your application etc.

What happens after I apply for permission to appeal?

Once you have filed an appellant’s notice, then the court will send all the copies of the documents you have filed to the opposing party, also known as the respondent.

If you wish to send these documents to the respondent on your own, you may request as much to the court.

The next thing that will happen will depend on whether you are asking for permission to appeal or on the outcome of that application.

What happens after I apply for permission to appeal?

If you are asking for permission to appeal you will either:

  • Be given permission with no limitations

  • Be given permission with limitations (eg, allowed to appeal some decisions but not all)

  • Be refused permission

If you already have permission or don’t need permission to appeal, then:

  • The court will send you a time period in which your case hearing should happen

  • And directions - essentially telling you what you indeed to prepare for the hearing

How we can help you with Appeals in Family Courts?

We at Court Help Limited are specialized in family court by drafting statements and applications. Our legal team has rich experience and knowledge to assist you in the documentation and paperwork involved in such cases. We also specialize in various family law matters such as child custody, divorce settlement, domestic violence, etc.

To know more about Family Law in England, check out some of our other related articles which are available here.

In case you are facing any such issues concerned with family law matters, do not hesitate to contact us. You can read our reviews here. At the bottom of the page, there is a Quick Contact Form, you can fill it out or email us at or call us at 07375757510.

Note: This article is not legal advice and must not be treated as legal advice.


bottom of page