Guess What? Unmarried Parents Don’t Have an Automatic Right of Appeal of Child Custody Rulings in all States

Boyfriend lives in New York.

Girlfriend lives in New Hampshire.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend “meet” on the internet.

Couple has two Daughters.

Relationship sours.

Custody battle in New Hampshire begins.

Girlfriend accuses Boyfriend of sexually abusing Daughters and of “mental delusions”.

Boyfriend accuses Girlfriend of sexually abusing Daughters and of “mental delusions”.

Neither police nor child protection agencies in either of their states have taken any action against Boyfriend (or, apparently, Girlfriend).

Boyfriend [erroneously] contends that this proves that Girfriend abused him with false accusations … alienating their Daughters from him and manipulating the legal system.

Court concludes that couple cannot “co-parent”.

Therefore, court awards Girlfriend primary custody and majority timesharing.

Court also awards Boyfriend “liberal” visitation.

Seeking primary custody himself, Boyfriend files appeal … and learns that New Hampshire law denies unmarried parents in child custody cases, among other folks in family cases, an automatic right of appeal.

So, Boyfriend seeks a discretionary appeal. And loses.

Now, regrouping, Boyfriend asks the trial court to reconsider its ruling, a little late in the game. He is now asserting that different appellate rules based on marital status of parents is discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional.

Whatever else, New Hampshire’s unusual appellate rules do at least have the virtue of trimming the appellate dockets considerably.

Read more in this Concord [NH] Monitor article: Unmarried couple’s custody case hits snag – No automatic appeal in fight.

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