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Could someone appeal a child custody ruling with new evidence?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2022 | Child Custody

When a couple goes to court during a divorce, one job that the court has is the rule on custody of their children. The general process here is for the court to try to consider the best interests of the children and rule in a way that is consistent with them. But there are situations in which the ruling may not be fair or just.

In some cases, parents may even claim that they have new evidence that should change the way that the court views their situation. Maybe they think it disproves accusations made before or simply paints the situation in a different light. Can that person appeal the child custody ruling and then bring this new evidence to court so that the higher court can make the proper ruling?

 New evidence is not permitted

If you’ve never been through an appeal like this before, it’s important to point out that new evidence is generally not permitted during an appeal. The goal is not to bring more evidence to the court or to change the facts of the case.

Rather, the goal of an appeal is to have a higher court reinterpret that evidence and apply the law to it. The appellate law can look at the evidence and transcripts that the lower court already examined, and they can determine if they need to rule in a different manner.

What the parent would be arguing in a case like that is that the court made a mistake in the sense that they applied the law incorrectly or inconsistently. But they’re not going to bring new evidence to change the facts of that case.

Seeking change

Remember that appealing the ruling is not necessarily your only option. If it’s too late for that, you may be able to seek a child custody modification. Either way, be sure you know what legal steps to take