Is it possible to appeal a child custody decision?

Custody cases in New York and elsewhere can be rather contentious. After all, how child custody is determined can greatly affect the parent-child relationship. Unfortunately, there are cases in which one parent may feel that he or she is not getting the best end of the deal, or he or she may not believe that what has been decided is truly the best for his or her child. What options are there for parents in such positions?

After a child custody order is made in court, it can be difficult to change. It is possible for non-custodial parents to seek modifications, but these are not always granted. This is where the appeals process comes into play.

While this is not a step that is commonly taken in custody cases, filing appeals to a higher court is possible if all other tactics in getting custody orders changed have failed. An appeal may be filed if one party believes an error in application of the law or in judgment has occurred. To appeal a Family Court decision, one generally has 30 days to file the appropriate paperwork to start the appeals process. The documents that must be filed include a request for appellate intervention form, a notice of appeal and a copy of the order one wishes to appeal.

Parents in New York who feel the need to appeal decisions made in child custody cases do not have to go through this difficult process alone. The appropriate steps for applying for an appeal can be taken with the assistance of legal counsel. Further assistance can then be provided to present one's case in court.

Source: nycourts.gov, "NY City Family Court -- Appeals FAQs", Accessed on June 21, 2016

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