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How Are Custody Decisions Reversed After a Divorce Ruling?

Posted on in Divorce

How Are Custody Decisions Reversed After a Divorce Ruling?

Once the judge rules on a case, it may seem there is no possibility for the judge to reverse their decision. Fortunately, for those who are not in favor the court's ruling, there is a way to have the court reconsider their initial ruling. A spouse has an opportunity to challenge the judge's so called “final” decision by appealing. If the spouse wants to change the custody rights or other obligations set by the judge, as child custody attorneys, we can provide experienced legal assistance.

Either spouse has the right to appeal the judge's divorce judgment to an appeals court. While it is not neither guaranteed or highly likely the appeal court will overturn a judge's ruling, spouses still have a chance and opportunity to reverse the ruling. An appeal begins by an attorney filing a written brief, which includes the legal argument and support from case law. The appeals court will also turn to the record of the trial court for further analysis. Typically, new evidence cannot be introduced during an appeal. Once all the information is submitted, both parties can make an oral case just for the divorce ruling.

Settlement agreements that usually include issues such as child support payments may not be appealed because both parties agreed to the terms. In addition, the judge must approve that settlement agreement; therefore, all parties including the court agreed to it and it cannot be overruled in appeals court. However, the agreement can be modified. In that case, a motion must be filed.

For either settlement agreements or child custody, there can be modifications. The only time the court will modify their decision after a divorce ruling is if it is in the best interest of the child. The parent seeking modification must present evidence proving there is proper cause or that there has been a change in circumstances. The parent then must prove it is also the best decision for the child in their current situation. An attorney will file for a motion of modify the divorce judgment in the trial court. The attorney can ask for modifications regarding child custody, visitation, parenting time, child support and even alimony.

If you are unhappy with the divorce judgment and would like modifications to your child's custody and support obligations, then please contact us for a free consultation with a qualified family law attorney that has your best interest at heart!

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