How would I get a custody case reopened?

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How would I get a custody case reopened?

Asked on January 18, 2013 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You don't mention how long ago it was that your case was closed and the reason for reopening the case.  These two factors will control your options.  If it was a recent decision, for example in the last month, you may have appellate rights or you may be about to file a motion to have the judge reconsider his decision. 

If it's been longer than a month or two, then you cannot get it reopened as easily.  Courts don't like to be changing orders often when it comes to children. Instead, they will only consider a motion to modify custody if there is a current situation that is harmful to the child. 

If it's been more than two years, then you can file a motion to modify if there has been a change in the children's situation such that a modification would be in their best interest.

A modification begins with the filing of a motion to modify.  Many courts will require you to attend mediation before a final hearing.  At the final hearing, the judge will make the final decision regarding what is in the best interests of the child. 

Here is a link to your state's website that has many of the forms that you will need: http://www.wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit/ccform.jsp?FormName=&FormNumber=&beg_date=&end_date=&StatuteCite=&Category=56&SubCat=Post-judgment  .  You are not required to have an attorney, but a family law attorney can give you an assessment of your case and advise you of the potential success of your case before you decide to file.


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