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Child Custody Appeals

Dallas Attorneys Representing Parties in Custody Disputes

While some co-parents are able to come to an agreement regarding custody of their children, many cannot, and child-custody disputes are often heated and contentious. As such, parents will often rely on the courts to determine their rights and obligations with regard to conservatorship and visitation. The courts have a duty to weigh all of the relevant evidence offered in custody matters, and issue measured decisions that are in the best interest of the children involved. In some cases, though, the court will set forth a custody order that does not align with what is appropriate under the facts of the case. While Texas law allows for appeals in custody cases, they are rarely granted. If you wish to appeal a custody order, it is smart to speak to an attorney to discuss your options and what you must prove to obtain a reversal. The trusted Dallas child-custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can apprise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal result available under the circumstances.

The Process of Seeking Child-Custody Appeals

Under Texas law, temporary custody orders are generally not appealable. Thus, parties must wait until a final custody order is issued before filing an appeal. Generally, appeals must be filed within 30 days from the issuance of the order. A party seeking an appeal must file a notice of appeal, which notifies the court and the opposing party that an appeal has been filed. The moving party must then file a brief setting forth the grounds for the appeal and the arguments as to why the lower court’s ruling should be reversed. The party must also provide the court with any transcripts or evidence of record that supports their position. Notably, however, they are not permitted to introduce new evidence at this stage of proceedings. The non-moving party will have an opportunity to file a brief as well. The court will then weigh the evidence and assess the parties’ positions and may hear oral arguments. They will then determine whether to grant or deny the appeal.

Grounds for Granting Child-Custody Appeals

Texas courts employ an abuse-of-discretion standard when evaluating whether a custody order should be modified on appeal. Generally, an appellate court will find a trial court to have abused its discretion when it acts unreasonably, arbitrarily, or without any reference to guiding principles or rules. The failure to appropriately analyze or apply the law may also be considered an abuse of discretion. The mere fact that a court resolves a matter in a different way than the appellate court would does not indicate an abuse of discretion, however, if there is significant evidence of probative character supporting its decision.

Under the abuse-of-discretion standard,  challenges to the factual and legal sufficiency of the evidence are not, in and of themselves, grounds for reversing a trial court’s order, but they may be considered in evaluating whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion. To evaluate whether evidence is legally or factually sufficient, the appellate court will review the entire record in a light most favorable to the non-appealing party. Evidence will be deemed legally sufficient if it would enable a reasonable person to reach the decision that is the subject of the appeal. An order will only be set aside if it is so contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence that it is clearly unjust.

Meet with an Experienced Dallas Attorney

In general, the Texas courts carefully consider the evidence presented in custody cases and weigh their decisions carefully. However, they do not always rule appropriately, and, in some instances, there may be grounds for an appeal. If you are interested in seeking an appeal in a custody matter, it is smart to meet with an attorney to determine what recourse is available. The experienced Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can craft persuasive arguments on your behalf to help you seek a just result.  Our principal office is in Dallas, and we can meet clients for consultations by appointment at our Collin County office in Plano. We routinely assist people with custody disputes in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, Rockwall, and Garland. We also aid parties in family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200, or by using our form online to set up a consultation.

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"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
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"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
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"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan