When a party is not satisfied with the result from a judge or jury, they often consider an appeal, a motion for new trial, and/or a motion to set aside. Some cases are appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals while others to the Supreme Court of Georgia. The type of case or Order being appealed determines in which court the appeal needs to be filed.

Generally, certain cases (such as custody decisions) can be directly appealed, meaning the appellate court must consider them, while other cases are considered a discretionary appeal, which means they must meet certain criteria and the Court is not necessarily required to even consider the appeal.

With respect to custody or visitation appeals, see O.C.G.A. § 5-6-34(a)(11) which was amended on May 6, 2013 and now states that appeals must be taken for . . . “All judgments or orders in child custody cases awarding, refusing to change, or modifying child custody or holding or declining to hold persons in contempt of such child custody judgment or orders.” The legislature amended the statute’s language to limit the scope of judgments or orders in child custody cases which are subject to direct appeal.

Appeals can be very complicated and there are many nuances and timing issues. Accordingly, consulting with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible regarding a possible appeal is critical.

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