Appealing a child custody order


#1

Most folks filing an appeal in a custody case lose.

Most folks moving to modify a custody order that was recently entered lose.

Rarely is a custody decision by the court something that makes both parties happy. People that are truly happy with their custody decisions are the 95% of people that were mature enough to work things out without taking the case before a judge.

You should probably be grateful that it’s not any worse than it is.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

There is no justice in the justice system. A judge is not “God”. How can a man who knows nothing about my child decide what is best for her? It wasn’t that I wasn’t “mature enough” to work out a settlement agreement, but that my ex kept asking for one more thing right before we could reach an agreement. First, I went into mediation thinking we were going to discuss every-other-weekend and holiday time, then he blindsided me with all of a sudden wanting every other week - Sunday to Sunday with him then the next week with me. Of course, I thought that would be too unstable for our young daughter, who at the time was only 1 1/2 years old. Then, right before we went to court - the day of court, as a matter of fact - he all of a sudden wanted every other Halloween. He cares nothing about Halloween; he just knew it was important to me. In fact, he has never taken her trick-or-treating and didn’t even send her a Halloween card or call her to wish her a Happy Halloween this past Friday, or ask her what she was going to dress up as, etc. The court order says that he is allowed to call our daughter on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights between 7 & 7:15, but he never calls. I call every time she is with him or his mom and dad. He is 2 months behind on his child support payments (owing approximately $1,100). He was fired from his last law firm and has now moved from Charlotte to Raleigh and gone to work with a new law firm where he is making a lot more money, but he won’t disclose his new salary information. The judge did not even take this into account, because all of this occurred in the middle of trial, but the judge did take the move into account by changing the exchange location where we meet. I don’t understand why I should be “punished” by losing 6 weeks a year with my child and a lot of holiday time, and he should be rewarded by gaining so much time when I have been her primary caregiver all of her life. I nursed her for 9 months. I worked full-time and carried insurance on her and him, while he went to law school. Like I mentioned before, he went 5 1/2 months without even seeing her. Personally, I think the judge either gave him more time because he was a lawyer or the judge owed his lawyer a favor. It was not a fair decision!

quote:
Originally posted by LeeRosen
Most folks filing an appeal in a custody case lose.

Most folks moving to modify a custody order that was recently entered lose.

Rarely is a custody decision by the court something that makes both parties happy. People that are truly happy with their custody decisions are the 95% of people that were mature enough to work things out without taking the case before a judge.

You should probably be grateful that it’s not any worse than it is.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

[quote]Originally posted by Heather Hodges

Hello, I have a question about whether it would be more beneficial/appropriate to file for a change of circumstances or file an appeal on our child custody order. I won custody but I feel that my ex was given too much time by the judge (six weeks in the summer, when I’m a teacher and can spend quality time with my daughter during the summer, whereas he’s a lawyer and will either have her in daycare or at his mom and dad’s house), especially considering that my ex went almost 6 months without seeing our daughter. Could I file for appeal based on abuse of discretionary power by the judge? How expensive would this be? There are other issues that the judge was incorrect on, such as he based child support/daycare expenses on 9 months out of the year (because I keep my daughter at home with me during the summer months and only take her to daycare on a drop-in/as needed basis) when in reality I’m only out of school for the summer for 2 months. Also, he did not require my ex to pay any back child support or back medical expenses. I have carried the insurance on our daughter for her entire life (she’ll be 3 in November) and he hasn’t carried a thing on her. He never once offered to split the doctor’s bills/medicine bills with me during our separation. I just do not understand, and neither does my lawyer, why the judge ruled the way that he did. Please advise me!

Thank you very much!

H.H.



#3

There is no justice in the justice system. A judge is not “God”. How can a man who knows nothing about my child decide what is best for her? It wasn’t that I wasn’t “mature enough” to work out a settlement agreement, but that my ex kept asking for one more thing right before we could reach an agreement. First, I went into mediation thinking we were going to discuss every-other-weekend and holiday time, then he blindsided me with all of a sudden wanting every other week - Sunday to Sunday with him then the next week with me. Of course, I thought that would be too unstable for our young daughter, who at the time was only 1 1/2 years old. Then, right before we went to court - the day of court, as a matter of fact - he all of a sudden wanted every other Halloween. He cares nothing about Halloween; he just knew it was important to me. In fact, he has never taken her trick-or-treating and didn’t even send her a Halloween card or call her to wish her a Happy Halloween this past Friday, or ask her what she was going to dress up as, etc. The court order says that he is allowed to call our daughter on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights between 7 & 7:15, but he never calls. I call every time she is with him or his mom and dad. He is 2 months behind on his child support payments (owing approximately $1,100). He was fired from his last law firm and has now moved from Charlotte to Raleigh and gone to work with a new law firm where he is making a lot more money, but he won’t disclose his new salary information. The judge did not even take this into account, because all of this occurred in the middle of trial, but the judge did take the move into account by changing the exchange location where we meet. I don’t understand why I should be “punished” by losing 6 weeks a year with my child and a lot of holiday time, and he should be rewarded by gaining so much time when I have been her primary caregiver all of her life. I nursed her for 9 months. I worked full-time and carried insurance on her and him, while he went to law school. Like I mentioned before, he went 5 1/2 months without even seeing her. Personally, I think the judge either gave him more time because he was a lawyer or the judge owed his lawyer a favor. It was not a fair decision!

quote:
Originally posted by LeeRosen
Most folks filing an appeal in a custody case lose.

Most folks moving to modify a custody order that was recently entered lose.

Rarely is a custody decision by the court something that makes both parties happy. People that are truly happy with their custody decisions are the 95% of people that were mature enough to work things out without taking the case before a judge.

You should probably be grateful that it’s not any worse than it is.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

[quote]Originally posted by LeeRosen

Most folks filing an appeal in a custody case lose.

Most folks moving to modify a custody order that was recently entered lose.

Rarely is a custody decision by the court something that makes both parties happy. People that are truly happy with their custody decisions are the 95% of people that were mature enough to work things out without taking the case before a judge.

You should probably be grateful that it’s not any worse than it is.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.



#4

Dear Heather:

No, judges are not “God.” They do however have to make difficult decisions on limited information meeting some couples for the first time there in the courtroom on the day the decision must be made.

Instead of seeing the time your husband has your daughter as time he gained and time you lost, I suggest that you try to see your daughter’s time with her husband as crucial time for her to bond with her father, learn from him, and become a better adjusted child. You should also see your time away from your daughter as time for you to “recharge your battery” and grow as an individual.

I tell all my clients that judges are human and make decisions we have to live with. Not like, but live with. I can honestly say that I have not seen a judge make a biased decision based on whether someone is an attorney or is not an attorney. Best of luck with your new situation.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCDivorce.com
919-787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

Hello, I have a question about whether it would be more beneficial/appropriate to file for a change of circumstances or file an appeal on our child custody order. I won custody but I feel that my ex was given too much time by the judge (six weeks in the summer, when I’m a teacher and can spend quality time with my daughter during the summer, whereas he’s a lawyer and will either have her in daycare or at his mom and dad’s house), especially considering that my ex went almost 6 months without seeing our daughter. Could I file for appeal based on abuse of discretionary power by the judge? How expensive would this be? There are other issues that the judge was incorrect on, such as he based child support/daycare expenses on 9 months out of the year (because I keep my daughter at home with me during the summer months and only take her to daycare on a drop-in/as needed basis) when in reality I’m only out of school for the summer for 2 months. Also, he did not require my ex to pay any back child support or back medical expenses. I have carried the insurance on our daughter for her entire life (she’ll be 3 in November) and he hasn’t carried a thing on her. He never once offered to split the doctor’s bills/medicine bills with me during our separation. I just do not understand, and neither does my lawyer, why the judge ruled the way that he did. Please advise me!

Thank you very much!

H.H.