How Child Custody Orders Can Be Appealed and Changed

For Hawaii parents, child custody is a common concern in a family law case. When the court decides which parent will have custody and how the visitation rights will be handled, there could be a desire to change the order. Understanding the process for lodging an appeal and the chance of success is critical.

There are foundational factors to be aware of when appealing a child custody decision. Every state has its own rules, so understanding them is key. Generally, once there is a final and complete order, it can be appealed. Such an order will have a conclusion. This means the case has been completed and no further court dates have been scheduled. To be complete, the order must have addressed all issues related to the child custody case.

Some cases are not eligible for appeal. If there is an order that is “non-final” for various custody issues, it is unlikely that it can be appealed. For those who want to appeal this type of case, it is necessary to wait for the final ruling. When there is a final ruling, an appeal is possible. Appealing the order does not guarantee that the requested changes will be made. The appellate court will use the same criteria for its decision as the lower court did. The court focuses on the child’s best interests above all else.

When all the necessary requirements are in place to appeal a child custody order, it is wise to be prepared. That includes following all the legal requirements and justifications for the appeal. A law firm experienced in child custody and all aspects of family law may be able to help.