Child custody arrangements are the most important component of any divorce that involves children. If you and your divorcing spouse are unable to hammer out arrangements that you can both agree to on your own – or with your respective family law attorneys’ guidance – the court will do so on your behalf. If you believe the judge in your case handed down custody arrangements that are not in your children’s best interest, you can appeal the court’s decision, but it will probably not be an easy path forward.
Child Custody Arrangements
While child custody arrangements can come in myriad forms – and divorcing couples sometimes get creative in the process – the basics generally include the following:
- Both parents share legal custody of the children and make important decisions on behalf of the children together.
- One parent becomes the primary custodial parent with whom the children live the majority of the time, while the other parent has a visitation schedule with the children.
- The parent with the visitation schedule pays child support to the primary custodial parent.
Your Child Custody Arrangements
It is almost always preferable for parents to find a middle ground that they can both sign off on related to their child custody arrangements. The fact is that you both want what is best for your children, and you both understand your children's needs better than anyone else does – or could. If you find it impossible to reach an agreement, however, the court will do so on your behalf. While the court is always motivated by the best interest of the children involved, the judge presiding over your case simply does not know your children the way you do and may hand down arrangements that you find exceedingly difficult to accept. In such an instance, you have the right to appeal the judge's decisions.
Appeals: The Basics
It is important to first point out that temporary child custody arrangements generally cannot be appealed. These are arrangements that are put in place while the judge gets to know the situation better in order to make a well-informed decision on the matter.
If you are appealing the judge’s decision in your final child custody orders, you will need to delineate exactly why you are challenging the judge’s order. Because an appeal is intended to review the case at hand, you will not be allowed to present any new evidence or to bring forth any new witness testimony. The appellate judge in your case will review the facts as they were introduced in your original hearing in an effort to determine if the original judge was in error. The appellate judge, however, is similarly motivated by the best interests of the children involved.
Work Closely with an Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney
If you need to appeal the court’s orders regarding your child custody arrangements, it is a serious matter, and you need the skilled legal counsel of a dedicated family law attorney like Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas. Mr. Pritchard is committed to fighting for you and your children’s rights, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.