California parents who are going through a divorce and who are unsatisfied with the child custody ruling have legal options. They generally have the right to file an appeal if they disagree with the order, but there are certain exceptions.

Generally, a child custody order can be appealed if it is final and complete, or has been concluded by the court. This typically occurs when the child custody case has been heard on its merits, the parties involved have attended court and there are no more scheduled court hearings. The custody order is considered complete if there are no unresolved custody issues that have to be addressed by the two parties.

There are some forms of child custody orders that cannot be appealed. Interlocutory orders, or non-final or temporary orders, pertaining to certain child-related issues usually cannot be appealed. In these cases, parents who are unhappy with the order will be required to wait until a final child custody ruling has been issued by the court.

It is advisable for parents who are seeking to appeal a child custody order to use the assistance of an attorney. The attorney can create a brief that summarizes why a parent is requesting an appeal and that highlights discrepancies in the original ruling. After the brief is filed, it and the hearing transcripts will be reviewed by the court. The court will then either uphold the original ruling or overturn it.

An attorney who practices family law may work to assist parents appeal child custody rulings. The attorney may evaluate the factors of the case, examine the original ruling, and advise parents of their options.