CAN I APPEAL A CHILD CUSTODY ORDER?
When the dust settles after your divorce, it is very likely that some aspects of the divorce settlement or court order governing your responsibilities and privileges toward your child will be difficult to accept. In many cases, parents simply adjust their expectations and lifestyles to comply with the order and learn to live with it. Is it possible to appeal a custody order? Yes, it is possible.
Although it is not very common to appeal a divorce or child custody order to a higher court, it can be done. Typically, this is not the most effective course of action because higher courts rarely overturn lower court decisions about divorce, but there are exceptions. If you believe that your divorce or custody issue is grossly unfair, you should consult with an attorney about the merits of appealing the decision in your case. Be sure to seek out an attorney who has extensive experience navigating appellate court matters.
A more common and usually more effective strategy in these situations is to petition the court that issued your divorce order for a modification to your arrangement. It is worth noting, however, that petitioning the court to modify an arrangement generally entails presenting some compelling reason that your circumstances or the circumstances of the other parent or your child have changed since the order was given. This is not strictly the only reason to seek modification, but it is the most common. In some cases, a judge may even build some mechanism into the order detailing a set time at which the order will be revisited for potential modification, such as every three years.
Your own circumstances and needs as a parent will govern which approach is most appropriate for you. Do not hesitate to seek out experienced guidance by an attorney who understands the best way to achieve your parenting goals. With proper legal counsel, you can ensure that your rights and privileges as a parent remain secure as you fight of the best interests of the child you love.
Source: FindLaw, “Appeals and Motions to Modify the Divorce Judgment,” accessed June 27, 2017