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Child Custody Appeal


To understand how a San Diego or greater California child custody appeal arises, it is important to look how the legislature instructs the trial court to adjudicate such disputes. Child custody in San Diego or greater California is governed by the Family Code.  The legislature, embodied within the Family Code has stated the California’s public policy is to ensure the child’s health, safety, and welfare.  A secondary public policy is to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parties have separated or dissolved their marriage.  However, Children are not community property to be divided equally for the benefit of their parents.  The essence of custody is the companionship of the child and the right to make decisions regarding the child’s care and control, education, health, and religion.  The trial court may make a child custody order that seems necessary or proper


The bottom line overarching consideration in adjudicating contested custody in San Diego or California is the child's “best interest.”  In making the “best interest” determination, the court can consider any “relevant” factors.  However, the court must consider the child’s; health, safety, and welfare; history of physical abuse; the nature of the abuse; drug use by the parent; and the child’s contact with both parents.  The family code vests trial courts with the “widest discretion” to choose a parenting plan that is in the child's best interest.  The trial court's decision will be upheld on appeal so long as it reasonably can be concluded that the order advances the child's best interest consistent with California Family Code statutes.



Contact Me


(858) 602-9229


Dennis Temko, Esq.

Law Office of Dennis Temko
12636 High Bluff Dr. Ste. 200
San Diego CA, 92130




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In most, but not all cases, the San Diego or greater California child custody appeal begins with the abuse of discretion standard.  Under that standard, there is no abuse of discretion requiring reversal if there exists a reasonable or fairly debatable justification under the law for the trial court's decision or, alternatively stated, if that decision falls within the permissible range of options set by the applicable legal criteria.  For those who wish to appeal, one job of mine as an appellate attorney is to evaluate the merits.  For some cases that involves whether the court abused its discretion and if so if prejudice resulted.  Another and equally important consideration is to determine whether the issue is appealable at all.  For respondents I wield the abuse of discretion standard as a sword to affirm the trial court’s decision


I represent appellants and respondents from San Diego as well as the greater California trial courts. If you would like to discuss your child custody appeal and its merits, please contact by the means indicated to the right or on my contact page.

Viewing the presentations, articles, other content, or contacting me/you through my web site does not establish an attorney client relationship. I will not file a notice of appeal nor calculate the time in which a notice of appeal must be filed by until I have received a signed retainer agreement.  Warning, the time from which to file a notice of appeal is statutory. The time in which you have to appeal may pass between when you first contact me and when an attorney client relationship is formed upon when I receive a signed retainer agreement .  Until a retainer agreement is signed and received by me, it is YOUR responsibility to insure your appeal is filed within the statutory period.  The articles on this website are not legal advice and should not be used in lieu of an attorney.  The accuracy of articles and information on this site cannot be relied upon.

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