How to Appeal a Temporary Order of Child Custody

By Beverly Bird

In the context of divorce, temporary custody is truly temporary – it lasts only from the time the order is issued until your divorce is final. Its terms can have serious ramifications, however. Courts don't like to disrupt children's lives, forcing them to move from one parent's home to the other when a final decree is issued, so the parent with temporary custody may have an edge when permanent custody is decided.

Appealing a Temporary Order

It's not usually possible to appeal a temporary divorce order, because it's already subject to change in your final decree. Your efforts might be better spent making sure the temporary order doesn't carry over to your decree. You can do this by going to trial and mounting a case that proves you're the more appropriate parent, so the court will consider moving your children from your spouse's home to yours because it's in their best interests.

Other Options

You might be able to modify your temporary order rather than appeal it. The rules for this vary a great deal from state to state. In South Carolina, you can file a motion for reconsideration, but the judge might not take kindly to your argument that he made a mistake when he issued the first order. If circumstances have changed since the temporary order was entered, you can instead file a motion for modification to bring this to the attention of the court. Some states are more lenient than others about modifying temporary orders. For example, you don't have to establish that there's been a change of circumstances in Illinois.

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How Long Can Temporary Custody Last?

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How to Undo Custody Arrangements in New Jersey

The divorce process can be a bumpy road. You may think you have certain issues resolved, such as custody, but then something happens that makes you uncomfortable with the terms you agreed to, or you may disagree with a judge's decision. In New Jersey, you may or may not be able to undo the arrangement. It depends a great deal on where you are in the divorce process and why you want to change your parenting plan.

How Can I Get Custody if My Ex-Wife Has Been Married Four Times?

Courts recognize a parent’s right to move on after divorce, so remarriage in itself is not usually a cause for custody modification -- even if your ex has done it three times since the two of you parted ways. However, a substantial change of circumstance is an acceptable reason to petition the court for a custody change. Depending on how your ex’s most recent marriage affects your child, this might be sufficient reason to ask a judge to give you custody.

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