Can I Appeal a Child Custody or Support Decision in Wisconsin?

Judgments and orders made in family court, such as child custody or support decisions, are considered final orders, and are therefore may be appealed under Wisconsin state law. Wis. Stat. § 822.44. The process for appealing these types of decisions is the same as that for appealing a criminal or civil order.

Wisconsin appellate law only gives an individual 45 days to inform the court — through filing a notice of appeal — that he or she wishes to appeal a written final order. If you would like to change a child custody order or support decision after the time for filing an appeal has expired, you may still file a motion to modify child custody and support.

When you file an appeal, you are complaining to the Court of Appeals that the lower court either applied the incorrect law or misapplied the law based on the facts. It is a different argument than the one you made in the lower court. You do not get to submit new evidence, and the appeal is based only on the facts already on record. Further, the most desirable result is that the Court of Appeals would reverse the lower court’s decision and remand for further proceedings consistent with their opinion. This means that the Court of Appeals probably won’t be able to give you the exact relief you seek — only that you’ll have another chance for the decision to be made in a fairer, more correct way.

If you are interested in having an appeals lawyer assist with your Wisconsin family court appeal, contact the Alderman law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).