Appellate Deadlines

Texas Family Law Appeals Deadlines

There are two sets of deadlines for Texas family law appeals. First, there are accelerated appeals, such as for termination of parental rights cases. Second, there are the ordinary appellate deadlines, for divorces, paternity suits, modifications and other types of appeals.

Accelerated Appeals

Day 0

Date judgment, order or decree signed.

Day 20

For accelerated and termination appeals, perfect appeal. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.405(a); Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(b). If indigent, affidavit of indigence must be filed. Tex. R. App. P. 20.1(c)(1). Special note: Filing of motion for new trial or like motion does not extend time for appeal in accelerated appeals or termination appeals.

Day 35

Deadline for motion to extend time to file notice of appeal if 20-day deadline missed. Tex. R. App. P. 26.3.

Ordinary Appeals

Day 0

Date judgment, order or decree signed.

Day 10

If case is suit affecting parent child relationship, request child support findings. Tex. Fam. Code § 154.130.

Day 20

File Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Tex. R. Civ. P. 296. Filing timely Request extends time to appeal to 90 days from signature of judgment or decree. Tex. R. App. P. 26.1.

Day 30

Trial court’s plenary power ends, and appeal must be perfected, if no Motion for New Trial or similar motion filed by this time, and no Request for Findings of Fact or Conclusions of Law previously and timely filed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(d); Tex. R. App. P. 26.1. Deadline for filing Motion for New Trial or similar motion. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(a). Deadline for amending previously filed Motion for New Trial or similar motion. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(b).

Day 40

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law due within 20 days of filing Request; assuming Request filed on 20th day, Findings and Conclusions due by this day. Tex. R. Civ. P. 297.

Day 45

Deadline for motion to extend time to file notice of appeal if 30 day deadline missed. Tex. R. App. P. 26.3.

Day 50

Notice of Past Due Finding of Fact and Conclusions of Law due within 30 days after Request filed; assuming Request filed on 20th day, this is the last day for a reminder. Tex. R. Civ. P. 297.

Day 75

Motion for New Trial or similar motion overruled by operation of law if no written order granting or denying signed by trial court. Tex. R. Civ. P.329b(c).

Day 90

Appeal to be perfected by this date if Motion for New Trial or similar motion or Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law previously and timely filed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(c).

Day 105

Trial court’s plenary power ends if time extended by prior, timely filing of Motion for New Trial or similar motion overruled by operation of law or prior, timely filing of Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(e). If trial court overruled Motion for New Trial or similar motion by written order signed prior to 75th day, then trial court’s plenary power ended on 30th day after order signed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(e).

2 comments for “Appellate Deadlines

  1. April 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The answer may be both: You could proceed in the trial court by bill of review, but a bill of review proceeding requires that the judgment be no longer appealable. So you would file a restricted appeal, which you have done. If you lose the restricted appeal, you might still be able to proceed by bill of review if the facts warrant that. Check out Mabon Ltd. v. Afri-Carib Enterprises, Inc., 369 S.W.3d 809 (Tex. 2012) (per curiam), where the defendant followed this course. More resources: Insurance Co. v. Lejeune, 297 S.W.3d 254 (Tex. 2009) (per curiam) (requirements for restricted appeal); Baker v. Goldsmith, 582 S.W.2d 404 (Tex. 1979) (“the” bill of review case). Best wishes.

  2. Ron Hendricks
    April 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I have a client that was defaulted on a SAPCR case and missed both the deadlines for Notice of DeNovo Hearing and Motion for New Trial. I have given notice of a Restricted Appeal. Can you help me get off dead center on this case? Is it truly an appellate case or is it retried in the district court?

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