Cities like Pearland, Lake Jackson, and Angleton in Brazoria County and Cinco Ranch, Fulshear, and Sugar Land in Fort Bend County are among the best places in South Texas to raise a family. Unfortunately, disputes happen.
If you have completed a divorce involving children, you may encounter a situation where you feel compelled to appeal a child custody ruling. Find out how to win a custody appeal with the help of a local family law attorney from Parker & Aguilar.
We live and work near you, so we are committed to supporting the health and well-being of your family by providing expert legal representation in your situation.
How Do Child Custody Appeals Work?
Let’s be clear upfront. Appeals are very difficult to win. You must be able to prove that there was a procedural error, the judge did not follow the Texas Family Code when determining child custody, or there was some other substantially egregious error made during the course of the child custody legal process.
Simply not agreeing with the final decision is not enough to successfully appeal a custody order. You will need to have a substantial argument and very strong proof that the case should be re-visited.
Think of it as sports. Teams can file a formal protest or appeal only if the officials incorrectly applied the rules when making a decision during a game. However, a team can’t protest the outcome simply because they disagreed with a judgment call made by the on-field officials.
Another critical element of filing an appeal in a child custody dispute is that you will need to act quickly to file the appeal. You only have 30 days to appeal a family law decision.
If you recently completed a divorce that contained a child custody order, we recommend talking to us right away about the case and how the judge arrived at the final decision.
- We will review the child custody decree.
- We will work with you to gather the appropriate evidence to counter the decision.
- We will help you file the appropriate paperwork in the county where you reside.
The key is that you must be able to prove that the judge did not follow the law or took liberties with the law when making a custody decision. If we believe you have a strong argument, we will fight hard to send the case for review and advocate on your behalf to overturn the original decision.
However, nothing is guaranteed when going through the court system. In fact, there could be a better option.
Alternative: Modify the Child Custody Order
An appeal might not be the right course of action, depending on the nature of your case. The more productive route could be to pursue a modification of the custody order.
With a modification, you can formally request the court to review the terms of the original custody order if there has been a “material and substantial change in circumstances.” Then, the court will determine whether there should be a formal change to the order.
Consider some examples of changes in circumstances that could entitle you to a review of the original order:
- Your ex-spouse was arrested.
- You gained new employment that makes you more fit to have custody of your child.
- Your ex-spouse lost employment, making them less fit to have custody.
- Your ex-spouse has consistently failed to adhere to the visitation schedule.
- Your children are being exposed to abusive environments.
- Other situations that rise to the level of being “material and substantial.”
Our local attorneys can review your situation, help you understand whether you have a good chance of winning a modification in Brazoria or Fort Bend County, and fight to protect your parental rights.
Find Help with How to Win a Custody Appeal or Pursue a Modification
Whether an appeal or a modification is the right course of action for your situation depends on several different factors. Our attorneys will gladly review your case, present you with the best options, and walk you through the next steps to rectify the situation.
Remember, if you plan to appeal a custody ruling, you must act quickly. Get in touch with us right away to find out more about how to win a custody appeal in your situation.
Or, if you would rather discuss modifying a custody order because something substantial changed after the divorce was finalized, we can help you with that, too.
We currently help clients throughout Brazoria and Fort Bend County. If you live in one of these counties, contact us immediately to discuss your situation.
You can reach our Angleton office at 979-267-7660 or Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 to discuss a custody appeal or modification. Let’s get to work on your case.