Should I appeal a child custody ruling in Ontario?
Child custody and parenting decisions made by judges in Ontario can be extremely important for the future of the child and his or her bonds with both parents. Child custody cases sometimes have the highest conflict of any family law case and, unlike financials issues, parents cannot put a dollar figure on their child’s best interests. Therefore, it is important to present any appeal, whether you are appealing or defending an appeal, in the best manner possible.
Deciding whether to appeal a child custody ruling can be a difficult decision that requires weighing costs versus benefits. In general, in the area of custody, lower court judges are entitled to “deference” on appeal. This means that the appeal court will not interfere unless the judge has made a “palpable and overriding error” of fact or when applying the facts to the law. Judges are required to be “correct” when it comes to questions of law, but in a custody case there are rarely pure questions of law. Therefore, there has to be a serious mistake made by the lower court judge for an appeal to succeed.
On the other hand, if you believe a judge has made a serious error that is not in the best interests of your child or children, you may want to fight for your child and appeal the decision. It is important to know your rights and your risks in making the decision about whether to appeal. Michael H. Tweyman will provide straight forward and candid advice about the merits of your appeal, so you can make an informed decision.
Michael H. Tweyman has been successful on appeals at all levels of courts in Ontario and can help with all aspects of an appeal. He is able to provide guidance about the risks and benefits of pursuing any appeal. Contact him at [email protected] to set up a consultation by calling 647-DIVORCE.
Michael also offers an appeal starter package. For $999 + HST, Michael will speak with you for up to 30 minutes, review the original court decision including the judge’s reasons, provide a high-level opinion about the proposed appeal, and complete the notice of appeal for you to start the appeal. Contact him to find out more.