Family Law appeal lawyer ontario

Common Questions & Answers About Family Law Appeals

Which Family Court Judgments Can be Appealed?

Both interlocutory (temporary) and final family law court orders in Ontario can be appealed to a higher court. Sometimes the court Rules require first seeking "leave to appeal" to secure advance permission to pursue an appeal, at other times there is a "right" of appeal. 

Where Are Family Judgments Appealed?

Some appeals proceed to the Divisional Court (part of the Superior Court of Justice), and others to the Court of Appeal, depending on which type of family court order is being challenged from which level of court. You need a lawyer who is familiar with the many nuances of to which court an appeal should be pursued. 

Even if you fail in a family appeal, you may have one or more levels of additional appeal available to you. Leave can be sought to appeal Divisional Court judgment to the Court of Appeal. And Court of Appeal judgments can be further appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada if it grants leave. However, only about 1 in 10 case that seek to do to the Supreme Court of Canada receive leave to proceed; leave is much more common at the Court of Appeal level. 

What are The Chances of Success on a Family Appeal?

According to limited court statistics, civil appeals (which include family cases) succeed about 1 in 4 times, but that statistic includes self-represented appeals. Thus appeals headed by knowledgable legal counsel likely have a higher (but probably less than 50-50) chance of success.

An appeal is not a new trial, so your best chance of success will always be at trial. But appeals are available to guard against significant trial (and pre-trial) injustices.


Appeal service and filing deadlines are very short - sometimes as short as a few days, and almost never longer than 30 days. Even if you can't immediately afford a lawyer, it's far better to file a protective self-represented appeal within the time limit that can later be expanded upon by a lawyer, rather than missing the deadline because you are still searching for a lawyer. Missing the deadline can be fatal to you appeal. 


The firm has successfully conducted many appeals before Ontario's Divisional Court and Court of Appeal as well as at the Supreme Court of Canada. Other lawyers refer their family law appeals to us because of our expertise. 

We guarantee all prospective appeal clients to prioritize getting back to you as soon as possible in assessing your appeal prospects. We recognize there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to get hold of a lawyer when you really need one. 

Further Reading

  1. Should I Appeal My Family Court judgment

  2. How to Apply for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada