Child Support Appeals

Appealing a Child Support Decision in California

Whether you are the parent receiving child support or the parent asked to pay child support, the payment obligations established by the court will have a tremendous impact on your future, and that includes your life with your child.

Sometimes the court’s ruling does not serve your child’s best interests. When this is the case, you may have the ability to file a legal appeal.

Appellate law is a unique area of legal practice because cases are pursued differently at the appellate level. Although many family law firms have limited or no experience succeeding in appellate court, the team at Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, excels in handling appeals. With over 300 years of collective experience in family law, we can help you achieve your objectives for child support through an appeal of the court ruling or other options.

Appeals Must Be Filed Within the Right Time Frame

In order for an appellate court to review an order, it is necessary to file a Notice of Appeal at just the right time. For a child support order, the party who wishes to appeal must wait for the lower court to issue the final judgment in the case. The court will not consider an appeal of a temporary support order. So you cannot appeal too early in the process.

However, you also cannot wait too long. You are required to file a Notice of Appeal either:

  • Within 180 days of the ruling, specifically after the entry of the judgment which is the date filed by the clerk, or
  • Within 60 days after being served with entry of judgment notice or a copy of the judgment

The deadline is strictly enforced. Courts have dismissed appeals on procedural grounds in child support appeals cases when the appeal was filed just a few days after the deadline. If you are considering an appeal, it is a good idea to talk to an appellate family law attorney as soon as possible.

Appeals Must Be Based on Legal Errors

In California, the trial court hears evidence and makes a determination about the facts of a case. It is essential to make your best case and present the best evidence at that time because any appeals of the decision will be based on the facts as established in the lower court. You cannot appeal a finding of fact.

What you can appeal is the application of the law. If you can make a good case that the judge used the wrong law or that the judge did not apply the law in the correct way, then the appellate court will agree to consider your arguments for overturning the lower court’s decision.

At Holstrom, Block & Parke, our Certified Family Law Specialists and associates understand when clients have good grounds to file an appeal and when it would be more effective to pursue other options. We always lay the groundwork to succeed on appeal, but we do not want to waste your resources if we know the court will dismiss the case.

Appellate courts are very selective in what they choose to consider. When a court does agree to take on a case, the matter will be handled primarily through the presentation of written arguments that will be studied closely by a panel of three judges over a considerable period of time. Appealing a case will not produce a quick decision, but appeals often set legal precedents for the future.

We May Suggest Alternatives to an Appeal

Depending on the situation, our team may be able to pursue other legal options to gain the right child support terms. If we can gather appropriate evidence, we may be able to justify a request for a modification through the local child support agency, the county child support commissioner, or in court.

It may also be possible to negotiate a different agreement out of court and have the court approve the agreement. Before making any changes to support payments, however, it is crucial to gain official government approval of the modification.

Protect Your Child’s Future with Assistance from Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC

If the court’s child support determination does not provide enough money for the child’s wellbeing or if the order contains terms that do not allow the paying parent enough resources to function and continue a relationship with the child, the court order is not in the child’s best interests.

Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC can help you appeal a child support ruling or work to obtain the right arrangements to protect your child’s future. Schedule a confidential consultation today to get started.