The appeal process of a custody battle

Single mom Felicia Dewar on the hardships she's experienced this month — and why she's grateful for the community support she's received

By Felicia Dewar
The appeal process of a custody battle

Photo by Maria Pavlova/

Once I’ve made the decision to fight for what I believe in, there appears to be no turning back. Therefore, step two of my custody battle will soon commence — likely next week — with an appeal and a request for a stay of the most recent order. Sadly, in order to receive a stay you have to appear in front of the same judge who granted the order and, in essence, tell them that they were wrong — I’m sure this will go over positively ...

Therefore, I am attempting to prepare myself for the inevitable week-long separation from my little one until the appeal can be heard. I don’t know that one can truly prepare oneself though.

As my little one sleeps beside me, my heart aches for the massive change he is about to undergo. Not only will he be away from his brother and I for longer than he ever has in his life, but he will spend much more time at daycare, sleep alone and will spend more time with his dad’s new wife than he will with his dad.

Once the shock wore off from the judgment, I actually considered giving up. I was treated terribly during the trial and this, coupled with the effects of a broken heart, made me feel too weak to continue. It was a conversation with a far-away new friend that convinced me otherwise. Very matter of fact, she stated that, of course I would appeal — and when I asked her why, her response resonated with me: “To stay true to yourself.” This sentence alone made me realize that this battle is not about me and my feelings, rather it is about what I believe to be right for my little one. Should the day ever come when my son asks me why he was split up from his home, I need to be able to respond that I did my very best to stop it. (Now I realize that this day may never come, but I have lived through this experience as a child and I did ask my parent why I was forced to go and why they didn’t stop it). This question will now be the basis for every future action I take in this battle.

My battle and my story has not ended but my time as the Today's Parent "At our house" monthly blogger has. I have so appreciated this opportunity and have really enjoyed hearing from readers that have sent me advice and encouragement. I am thankful that, through these posts, I have been able to connect with so many single parents across Canada. I will continue my story on my blog and look forward to connecting with you there. Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting me, you all have meant the world to me through this tough month.

This article was originally published on Mar 30, 2012

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