Can I Appeal a Child Custody Ruling in CA?

December 13, 2022

Yes, you can appeal a child custody ruling in CA. Family courts in California do their best to ensure that their rulings or judgments are in the children’s best interest. Occasionally, however, they can make mistakes. As a responsible parent, you are lawfully entitled to appeal a custody ruling if you don’t agree with the child custody arrangement the court determined. But there are very specific rules regarding under what circumstances you can appeal a child custody ruling.

Do You Have Grounds to Appeal a Child Custody Ruling in CA?

You can only appeal a child custody ruling after the judge has passed a final judgment or ruling in your custody case. This is the final decision that decides the entire custody case and covers what the parties in the case must do, in your case, the court’s decision on child custody.

But in most instances, decisions made by the court before passing the final judgment can’t be appealed immediately and can be reviewed only as part of a final judgment’s appeal. There are certain exemptions to this rule. In probate and family law cases, some of the orders determined in a case may be appealed immediately, even if they were created before passing the final judgment.

It is also crucial to note that you cannot appeal temporary custody orders because they’re not final rulings. Unfortunately, you’ll only be given one chance to argue your stance when the court is in the process of creating temporary custody arrangements for your child. Fortunately, temporary custody orders shouldn’t impact the case’s final ruling.

How to Appeal a Child Custody Ruling in CA?

You must file a Notice of Appeal to initiate your case. This notice informs the court and other involved parties that you plan on challenging the initial custody ruling. However, your appeal must be supported by a provable legal basis to launch your appeal. For example, you must have evidence to prove that the judge misapplied the law to the custody case or that the ruling was misdirected due to factual mistakes.

Your appeal must likewise be based on issues that have already been raised in court at the initial trial. You also cannot raise issues in appellate court that haven’t already been contested at the initial trial. Because family law cases typically include multiple hearings or trials based on various issues and existing court orders, you may have to wait for some time before you can appeal the custody ruling.

Seek Legal Guidance From a Seasoned Ventura Family Law Attorney Today

The process to appeal a child custody ruling in CA must adhere to strict family law rules and requires proper planning to ensure the most favorable outcomes. If you believe that your rights or your child’s rights have been violated in a custody case, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Ventura family law attorneys at Bamieh & De Smeth. Set up your free case evaluation with our Ventura family law attorney by calling 805-643-5555 or sending us an online message.