Some Texas parents may feel that the court in their child custody case ruled in an unfair manner. They may worry that the other parent poses a risk to the child or feel unjustly excluded from their child’s life. Parents have the right to appeal child custody orders, although the timing and circumstances for an appeal may vary, and it may be better in some cases to file for a modification instead. In general, custody cases can be appealed once a final order has been issued and is in place.
In most cases, parents cannot appeal a child custody decision simply because they are unhappy with it. They need to show some type of unreasonable action or procedural mistake on the part of the court that could constitute an abuse of discretion. However, even when this process may be difficult, either parent retains the right to seek a modification of the order at any time. Changed circumstances may prompt a modification request, including either parent’s location, marital status or medical situation. Evidence of abuse coming to light may also prompt a request for a child custody modification.
A parent who wants to appeal a child custody order will need to file their notice of appeal within 30 days after the final order is issued. People may work with an attorney to lay out the problems they see with the court’s procedure, such as being denied the ability to submit evidence.
A child custody appeal will not involve new evidence but a review of the transcripts of the family court proceedings. A family law attorney may provide advice to a parent on the best way to pursue the case.