Legal Question in Family Law in Arkansas

Appealing Child Custody Determination - Father

Our request for change in custody was denied. We proved everything we set out to prove about the custodial parent. The attorney for the children is on our side. The judge was obviously late for a golf game and didn't want to listen. My question is can a Father get custody changed on an appeal? Has it ever been done before? Everyone is encouraging us to pursue the appeal. But after an entire year of documentation, pictures, tape recordings we really stand a chance on an appeal? Desperate for an answer. Thank You

Asked on 10/17/98, 12:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jes Beard Jes Beard, Attorney at Law

Re: Appealing Child Custody Determination - Father

I'm licensed in Tennessee, not Arkansas, and generally I do not handle appelate work, though I do regularly read the decisions from the appellate courts.

So, with that said, YES, appellate courts DO reverse custody decisions.... but not most of the time.

Generally cases are affirmed on appeal, but generalities are fairly unimportant and the decision will have to rest on the specific facts of your case.

Talk with your attorney, and ask your attorney for the name of someone who does a lot of appellate work (also ask if your attorney does much of that, but to determine first IF you should appeal, you should also bring in another independent legal mind to discuss the case and your prospects).

You might need to have a transcript prepared of the trial just to determine what your prospects are... and generally speaking you have only 30 days or so to decided whether to file a notice of appeal, so act quickly. (But remember that even after filing the notice of appeal you can drop the appeal later if you decide your prospects are too remote -- filing the notice of appeal merely preserves your right to take it up for review and it does not require you to complete the process.)

Jes Beard

Jes Beard, Attorney at Law

737 Market St., Suite 601

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Answered on 12/30/98, 8:45 am

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