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Can you appeal a child custody decision in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | Child Custody |

When you asked for a divorce, the most important thing to you was getting time with your children. Unfortunately, the court gave physical and legal custody to your ex. All you get is supervised visitation once a week. Can you appeal that decision?

You can in many cases. The courts are supposed to do things in accordance with the law and the children’s best interests, but you may feel that they have erred in your case. If you have the ground to appeal, you usually can, but not all rulings are the same.

For instance, you generally cannot appeal a temporary order, but you can appeal a final order. The court may use a temporary order to determine where your child will live while you sort out the details of the divorce. It may have been easiest to give custody to your ex, but you will still get more custody rights under the final order. Make sure you know exactly what you’re appealing and where you are in the process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that an appeals court typically just considers the facts and details from the first case, deciding if they were used improperly or if the ruling and interpretation were inaccurate. This is much different than adding new facts to the case. In order to appeal, you need to believe that those facts should have brought you to a different outcome.

Finally, remember that you can’t always appeal just because you don’t like the decision. You’re not always going to get everything you wanted. For instance, maybe the court split custody when you wanted sole custody. If there’s no reason for sole custody, you may not like that decision, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong decision in the eyes of the law.

In any case, these situations can be stressful and complicated. It’s critical to work with an experienced legal team so that you know where you stand and what options you have.