Appellate Procedure - Child Custody Nonfinal Judgment: Dickinson v. Burton


Dickinson v. Burton, [Ms. 2160539, Sept. 29, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017). In this unanimous decision by Presiding Judge Thompson (Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur), the court dismisses the father’s appeal of an order allowing the maternal grandparents visitation with the minor child. At the time the father filed his appeal, the circuit court had awarded the father custody of the children, but had not addressed the pending issues of child support or an award of visitation to the mother. The court dismissed the appeal because “[a] trial court’s failure to determine an amount of child support owed by a party ... render[s] a judgment nonfinal.” Ms. *4, quoting Edwards v. Edwards, 951 So. 2d 699, 700 (Ala. Civ. App. 2006).

The court also noted that it could not treat the father’s appeal as a petition for writ of mandamus challenging the order awarding the maternal grandparents visitation because it was not filed within the presumptively reasonable time (42 days) for seeking mandamus relief. Ibid.

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