How Much Does It Cost To Appeal A Child Support Ruling?

child supportQuestion:

How much would it cost to appeal a bad child support ruling if the judge destroyed all the court reporter notes?


I am only licensed to practice law in Virginia so I am only able to provide you some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Virginia, depending on what court the original hearing is in will generally control the overall cost of an appeal.

In Virginia, we have courts not of record and courts of record. For courts not of record, each litigant has an automatic right to appeal to the court of record. The appeal to the court of record operates as if there was never a hearing in the court not of record. So, everything starts anew. These appeals are generally not that expensive.

When you disagree with a decision made by a court of record, you have four options.

First, you can file a motion for reconsideration within ten days of the court’s order. This just asks the court to rethink its decision based on some point of evidence that you believe was overlooked.

Second, you can ask the court for a rehearing on the matter within 21 days of the court’s ruling. A rehearing is rare but it affords you the opportunity to present evidence that was not available to you at the first hearing.

These first two options are still very reasonable when it comes to cost.

Third, you can appeal the decision to the state appeals court. This requires you present a full transcript of the trial or a recitation of what happened at the trial. The recitation is simply you recounting what occurred and what was said. The other side will have the opportunity to interject what they believe is accurate information.

This the most expensive option.

There are several rules and procedures that must be followed in order to preserve your appeal rights and to properly file the appeal. These first three options are not guaranteed to work. Generally, the courts will not rehear a matter that has already been litigated and the appeals court is reluctant to take child support cases.

The fourth option is to wait until there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances so that you can ask the court to change the child support order. This requires you to stay current on all support owed form the time the order is entered until the court enters a subsequent order.

This option will generally cost just as much as the original action.

Questions regarding child support require a specialized knowledge of local law. For these reasons I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in family law matters in your jurisdiction.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on these matters.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss child custody rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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