Appealing Split Custody Order

Just went to court. Mom had an attorney. Dad didn’t. Judge ordered split physical/legal custody of 8 1/2 yo & 2 1/2 yo as soon as mom moves to a 3 bedroom apartment. Mother left the home 1 1/2 years ago & left kids with dad. Her attorney made her & her boyfriend look like saints. Mother did admit that before leaving dad she called grandma to come get the kids so she could attempt suicide (but that she’s all better now from seeing a therapist), and every time she gets the kids for visits on weekend they have been healthy & happy & well taken care of, that she hasn’t paid any child support since October because dad stopped paying her truck insurance, that she hasn’t even called the kids in a month, that the 2 1/2 yo was “to little” for the events they had planned on their family vacation to D.C. this summer so she was excluded from going. Mom also said that the 8 1/2 yo is old enough to know about the court proceeding & she told him all about it. There is so much more to this that didn’t come out in court because of lack of know how on dad’s part like the fact that everyone “took turns” sleeping with the 2 1/2 yo girl while on visit with mom because she didn’t have a bed-even mom’s boyfriend . Nothing on mom’s side was presented other than yes they have a great, fun time on the weekends with the kids. The children are better off with dad & living in the only home they have ever known with cousins living next door. Judge has mom’s attorney drawing up the papers. Who after a week still has not contacted dad. Would it do any good for dad to get a lawyer & appeal this? Is there a better way to stop it from happening.

In order to change custody you will have to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances which affect the well being of the child since the ruling was made, or to appeal you must be able to assert that the judge made an error in the law in arriving at his/her decision. So, you will need to show that the judge made an error in the law he looked to in making his decision. This is not easy to show in custody cases since judges are given a lot of discretion in making custody awards.