Since I am working on an appeal, here is a brief outline of what is involved.
The family court is not supposed to be the last word on anything. If you are dissatisfied with an order, you have one appeal as a matter of right.
Figure out if the order is appealable. You want to make sure that it is a final order, and you have all your evidence on the record. If there is any possibility of getting what you want in the court you're in, you should try that first.
If you have a lawyer, ask him to explain the appealability of any order that goes against you. Even if he does not do appeals himself, he should know what is appealable and be able to refer you someone who does the appeal.
Here is some advice for family court lawyers to help make a case ready for appeal. Unfortunately, many family court lawyers don't know these things, and ruin your chances on appeal.
File a notice of appeal, within 60 days of the order. Then you have to designate the record, within 15 days after that. The record consists of two bound volumes. One has court pleadings and orders. The other has transcripts. You have to pay court reporters to produce the transcripts.
Once the court of appeals has the record, you file a 50-page brief. There are some silly rules about format and copies.
Your opponent will file an opposition brief, and you get a chance to file a reply brief.
Once the court gets all the briefs, it schedules oral arguments. The decision comes in the mail about two months later.