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Can a child custody case ruling be appealed and reversed?

Jacksonville, NC |

I ask this because I want to help a friend who lost custody and is completely devastated. Her ex is a marine and has a documented child abuse incident. He has anger issues and has tormented her since divorce. He said he would "bury" her get the kids and make her pay, and now he has. She is a good mother an er nurse and he lied about many things with no physical proof and the judge believed everything. Her kids were tardy to school 14-15 times that hurt, she didn't go to games because he harrassed her that hurt, and he lied saying she didn't feed them or bath them, untrue I know them well. They live in Jacksonville, Nc and the kids are 5 and 7. They are being taken from their 3 other siblings as well. Can a call to dss help? The judge just seemed to see him as a marine who wouldn't lie.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. The short answer is yes, but it is a very high bar of "abuse of discretion" that would need to be carried in order to overturn the decision. Is it a Temp or Permenant custody order? If it is a temporary order, then a motion to modify the custody decision could be brought at any time. If it is a permenant custody order then there must be a substantial change in circumstances to modify this order. Those are the items you need to look at. Sometimes a modification can happen easier and quicker than an appeal in domestic court. Unlike criminal district court in NC where a citizen may appeal a guilty verict is appealed for a trial by jury or judge in Superior Court, a domestic, district court ruling must be appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals which takes a long time to do and to get a ruling. Speak to a local domestic attorney about the issue of appeal and modification.

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