Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Appealing a child custody decision in California

On Behalf of | May 21, 2018 | Child Custody

When a judge makes the decision about who the children will live with after their parents are divorced, it could leave a bad taste in one parent’s mouth. Appealing a child custody ruling takes proper planning and must adhere to California family law rules. Temporary orders usually can’t be appealed. The appeal process typically pertains to final rulings.

A court will go over any documents filed with respect to the appeal. The appeals court may also wish to look at transcripts of the original hearing. A judge will always rule on what he or she feels is in the best interests of the children involved. An appellate court will use the same evidence used in a lower court ruling when it makes its decision on the appeal.

No new evidence will be allowed on appeal, nor new testimony. New witnesses are also out of the question. The court will base its decision on evidence already presented along with the appellant’s brief from his or her lawyer. The appellant is usually not able to speak to the judge while he or she reviews existing documents.

California residents wishing to appeal a child custody ruling may do well to get the help of a family law attorney. An appeals lawyer can write a brief summarizing the reason(s) for the appeal. In that brief, he or she may also be able to call to attention to any inconsistencies with regard to the original ruling. The wisest decision a parent who truly believes a child custody ruling is unfair can make may be to enlist legal counsel. 

Source:, “How to Appeal a Child Custody Ruling“, Jennifer Wolf, Accessed on May 18, 2018

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