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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Changing or appealing a child custody order

Parents in Texas may find themselves in sharp disagreement with the decision of a family court, especially after a child custody hearing. This problem may be more common in contentious cases where parents are unable to reach an agreement or when abuse allegations are involved. After an unfavorable decision, a parent may wonder if they have the ability to appeal a child custody decision. As with other types of court orders, a child custody case can be appealed; however, only a final order can be brought up on appeal rather than a temporary or interim custody decision.

An appeal challenges errors procedural inaccuracies in the court's judgment. Therefore, parents may not appeal simply because they disagree with the decision. In some cases, parents may be denied the ability to present specific evidence or expert witnesses in the child custody case, which could serve as a potential basis for an appeal. The higher court will review the transcripts of the case to determine whether there was an error that merits the order being overturned.

Appealing a child custody order is not the only option for parents. A parent can seek a modification of a custody decision at any time, especially if they can show some kind of material change in parental circumstances or evidence of abuse. This is not subject to the same restrictions as an appeal and can be filed at any time while most appeals must be filed within 30 days of the final order.

Parents may face a difficult time dealing with the family court system, especially if they are seriously concerned for their child's safety with the other parent. A family law attorney may help people work for a positive child custody outcome or seek a modification of an existing order.

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