Before you appeal your case, you must make sure that you have an appealable order. In order to bring your case to the Court of Appeals, you must have a final order. If you are not sure if your order is a final order, you should consult with an attorney to determine if your order is final and appealable. If you have a temporary order, it is not appealable.
You also must be aware of the deadline to file the appeal. It is very important to keep in mind that there is a strict timeline for appealing your case. Most family law cases (e.g. custody, divorce) have sixty (60) days to appeal the final order. If you are considering an appeal, you should consult with an attorney sooner rather than later. If you begin calling attorneys a day, or even a week before your deadline to file the appeal, you will probably have a difficult time finding an attorney to represent you. If your attorney for the appeal is different than the attorney who represented you at the trial level, the new attorney will need to become familiar with everything that happened at the trial court level. This takes time.
Next, the paperwork begins. This includes the notice of appeal, ordering the trial transcript, and a brief. The brief is where you will make all of your arguments about why the trial court got it wrong and the Court of Appeals should reach a different conclusion. It is important to review the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (especially if you choose to represent yourself) to ensure that your brief satisfies all of the requirements.
In Minnesota, when a family law appeal is filed with the Court of Appeals, the case is first screened for the family law appellate mediation program. If your case is deemed suitable for mediation, then you will receive an order stopping the appeal process and sending you to mediation. If you do not reach an agreement at mediation, the appeal process will continue and you will receive notification of the new deadlines in your case.