When a decision is made by a master or a judge in a child custody dispute in Philadelphia County and one of the parents or other people seeking custody is unhappy with it, there are steps to take to appeal it. The best interests of the child are paramount and it is not unusual for one or even both parents, or other prospective custodians, to disagree with an order. This is why it is important to understand the options to try to have the order changed. The order must be read through entirely to make certain that deadlines are not missed to file an appeal.
When a master issues a proposed order following a hearing, the parent who disagrees with it can file exceptions. This must be done within 20 days after the written recommendation has been received. Within the exceptions, there must be a written explanation as to why the proposal made by the master should be changed. The court must receive this within those 20 days. After this has been filed, there will be a hearing in front of a judge. The person will tell the judge what the master did wrong. After the person has given justifications as to why the decision was wrong, the judge will make an order in the case.
There is also a possibility that the person will disagree with the order given by the judge. If that is the case, there can be a request for reconsideration. An appeal can be filed with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. This must be done within 30 days of the date upon which the court order was issued. An important note is that the filing a request to have reconsideration will not provide an extension for the 30-day limit to appeal the case with the Superior Court.
Emotions can run high in a child custody dispute, particularly when there has been a decision made by a master or a judge that one of the participants disagrees with. Those who are unhappy with an order made in a case will usually need to get more information about all aspects of a child custody case, especially in appealing a decision.
Source: courts.phila.gov, "Child Custody in Philadelphia County -- What If I Disagree with the Custody Order?," accessed on March 20, 2017