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How are modifications and appeals different in child custody?

Child custody matters can oftentimes turn into contentious court battles. When a child custody case is determined in a manner in you don't feel is correct, you might decide that you are going to explore your options for getting the matter corrected.

In some cases, you might be able to appeal a child custody ruling. This is much different than going through the modification process, so you must ensure you understand the differences.

What is a modification?

Modification is a way that you can have a current child custody order changed. You can do this either by working with the other parent to get a new order issued or you can do this by seeking help from the court to come up with a new order. In order to seek a modification from the court, you must have a valid basis for asking for the change. Finding out if you have this is a necessary step you must take before you file for the modification.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a formal court process that enables you to let the court know that you didn't agree with the decision that was made. In this case, you must have a factual and legal basis for launching the appeal. Unlike a modification petition, you only have a specific amount of time after a ruling to file an appeal.

You have to put your children first in these cases and think about what is best for them. You might want things to be your way or the highway; however, your way might be only one of the viable options that meets the children's needs.

Source: FindLaw, "When Should You Appeal a Child Custody Ruling?," George Khoury, Esq., accessed April 21, 2017

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