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A father, mother and son speaking in a family law attorney's office in Henderson, NV

Appealing a custody case

During the settlement of a Divorce one of the most important things the court has to decide is Custody, and your Custody ruling may have not gone according to plan or ruled in your favor. If you feel a mistake has been made in your Child Custody case, you may be entitled to either reconsideration or an appeal.  Having a skilled and highly experienced legal team can ensure you are educated on the steps involved to fight a Child Custody ruling.

It is important to note that you need firm legal grounds for fighting a Child Custody ruling. You’ll need to base your argument for reconsideration or your appeal on evidence. This is one of many reasons why it is important to have an experienced Child Custody attorney on your side. Our Child Custody attorneys are well-versed in the Child Custody laws for your state and can determine if you have grounds for reconsideration or an appeal. These grounds include violations of procedural requirements, applying the law incorrectly, and improperly including or excluding evidence.

There is a very short window in which you can file for reconsideration or file for an appeal.  Rather than wonder “Can you appeal a custody decision?” it’s best to seek immediate assistance from an experienced Child Custody law firm as quickly as possible. Our Family Law attorneys will help make sure you file for reconsideration or your appeal is filed timely and in line with the rules of your state.

How are Child Custody decisions made?

In an ideal situation, parents will consider the needs of the children and come to an amicable agreement about how their custody and care will be handled. When they cannot, the court must make a decision based on the best interest of the children. Several factors are considered, including stability and continuity for the children, including in their home life, education, and community life, availability of extended family, the child’s preference, and the child’s physical, emotional, developmental, special needs, and more. If there is a history of abuse, that must also be considered before a decision is made.

If you decide to file for reconsideration of your Custody order, your attorney will prepare the motion outlining your legal argument, provide additional evidence and ensure your case is both legally and procedurally sound.  The court will hold a new hearing and issue new orders and/or set your case for Trial to hear full argument and take testimony and evidence.

If you decide to appeal your Custody order, your attorney will write a brief summarizing your grounds for appeal and demonstrating inconsistencies in the ruling. Once the court receives and reviews the brief, the appellate court will consider your appeal case and review the original hearing transcripts, in order to formulate a decision. The appellate court will use the same principles used to make the original decision. You won’t be allowed to introduce new testimony or present new witnesses. You probably won’t have the opportunity to speak to the appellate court judge or be present while the case is being reviewed. The decision the judge reaches will be based on a review of your attorney’s brief and the existing court transcripts.

The Process and Rate of Success

The process of reconsideration of a Custody order and the process of appealing your Custody order can be challenging, and while there is no guarantee that your reconsideration or appeal will be successful, Smith Legal Group has been quite successful in both.  The best interest of your children is of utmost concern to parents as well as the court.  If there was an error in the original ruling, it is worth the time, effort, expense to fight for your rights with your children.  Smith Legal Group will perform a full case review, analysis, and develop the most appropriate legal strategy to ensure your best outcome.

In some cases, you may need to file for modification of Custody. Let’s look at Child Custody appeal vs. modification. While an appeal must be based on court errors, Child Custody modification can happen because of a change in circumstance. Unlike a Custody appeal, typically a Custody modification has no statutory timeline because circumstances can change at any time following a ruling. Custody appeals go to a higher court, but Custody modification is usually heard in the same court where the original ruling was decided. It could be that one parent has moved out of state, or someone has gone through a crisis like domestic violence. The change in circumstances must be substantial, typically the standard is that the change must be involuntary, unanticipated, and/or permanent. Appeals have much more stringent qualifications, and the court of appeals is of superior authority to lower district courts. Deadlines to file the appeal and briefs, as well as to pay court costs, are very strict. If you simply need a change to Custody or Visitation, a modification may be a less costly and time-consuming option.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer

Whether you need a Child Custody appeal, Custody reconsideration, or Custody modification, contact Smith Legal Group. As a full-service law firm, we provide legal assistance and representation to clients throughout Nevada. Our firm is committed to formulating a customized legal strategy to meet each individual client’s legal needs, our team works around the clock for our clients, providing appointments when needed, even after hours and on weekends. Smith Legal Group’s initial consultations are free, and we’ve successfully represented thousands of cases since 2010. Call us at 702-410-5001 to discuss your legal concerns or contact us through our website to request a consultation.