Appealing a Custody Order with a San Diego Attorney
If you are facing an emergency situation where an existing custody arrangement places a child in danger, do not hesitate to contact an experienced divorce and family law attorney. To protect you and your child, your attorney can file a request for an emergency child custody order or a restraining order.
Legal remedies are also available if you wish to modify your current custody agreement based on a change in circumstances that affects the child’s best interests.
In a non-emergency situation with no new circumstances to consider, you have the right to appeal a family court decision to a California Appellate Court. It’s important to remember that there are limited legal grounds for appealing, and you won’t be able to present new evidence. Strict filing deadlines apply, so if you’re thinking about appealing, you’ll want to speak with a San Diego child custody lawyer about your situation as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for help with a divorce or child custody issue, contact a San Diego family law attorney at Mattis Law, A.P.C. at (858) 328-4400 to schedule a free consultation. Amelia J. Mattis was chosen as a Favorite Family Law Attorney in a poll conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune and selected as a Top 10 Family Law Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine.
There are six regional California Courts of Appeal. Their function is to review court decisions and procedures to ensure the proceedings are fair and the appropriate laws have been applied correctly.
Appeals must be based on issues that have already been raised in court. To win an appeal, your attorney has to prove that the law was misapplied or factual errors caused a misdirection of the judgment. No new witnesses, evidence, or exhibits are allowed. California Courts of Appeal have a large caseload, so it may be several months before they hear your case.
A three-judge panel will review the case and issue an opinion. They may decide to hear verbal arguments or base their opinion entirely on the brief provided by your lawyer.
You have 60 days to file an appeal from the date you receive a Notice of Entry of Judgment from the family law court or 180 days after a court order or judgment was filed if there was no Entry of Judgment. Your application must include the following:
- Notice of appeal
- Name of the party making an appeal
- State bar number of the case
- Your attorney’s contact information
- Names of the plaintiff and respondent in the case
- Type of judgment being appealed
- A legal brief containing evidence that errors were made in the ruling
Filing an appeal is a long process that can be costly. Your lawyer and their office will have to request copies of legal documents and compose a detailed and well-reasoned legal brief in support of your appeal.
To win your appeal, your attorney must prove that significant errors in law or procedure were made during the family law custody hearing, such as:
- The law was misapplied.
- The law was misinterpreted.
- The wrong law was applied.
- Factual errors compromised the judgment.
- Substantial factual evidence contradicts the judgment.
There are three ways that an appellate court may respond to your appeal, which are:
- Uphold the original ruling so it remains in effect.
- Remand the original ruling, sending the case back to family law court.
- Vacate the original decision, reversing all or part of it.
The appellate court’s opinion will become final 30 days after it is handed down. If you feel the court acted in error, you may submit a petition for a rehearing within 15 days of the court’s filing. You can also petition for review in the California Supreme Court.
At Mattis Law, A.P.C. in San Diego, we understand how difficult this time in your life may be. Head attorney Amelia Mattis has extensive family law experience and is committed to providing compassionate and skilled legal representation and support.
Our team is happy to sit down with you and discuss the solutions we offer for problems relating to divorce, custody, child services, domestic violence, and other family law issues. Call us at (858) 328-4400 to schedule a free initial consultation. Let us handle the legal process while you focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones.