Can I Appeal My Divorce Ruling?

 Posted on September 25, 2015 in Modification of a Divorce Decree

divorce-appeal.jpgJust like any other legal ruling, such as a ruling on a criminal or civil case, you have the right to appeal your divorce settlement if you feel that it was made in error. Like with these other types of rulings, you will need to go through the appeals process to have your divorce case reheard in appellate court. If you are considering appealing the court's decision about your divorce, work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that you follow the correct procedure for an appeal and that your interests are fairly represented in court.

The Appeal Process for Divorce Settlements

In Illinois, the right to appeal a divorce ruling is guaranteed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

The appeal process begins with the individual seeking the appeal, known as the appellant, files his or her Notice of Appeal with the court. This is a document that states the appellant's intention to appeal the court's decision. He or she must then file an appellate brief, which states how the court originally misinterpreted or misused the law to reach an unfair settlement. This part involves an in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws and is best done by working with an experienced divorce attorney.

After you file your appellate brief, your former spouse has the right to file a response brief explaining why the original ruling was fair. As the appellant, you have the right to then respond to this brief before your case goes to appellate court.

Once the case goes to appellate court, the court decides if the case needs to be reheard by a new judge and jury or if the original ruling may be kept. It may request that you provide an oral argument for your appeal.

Issues to Consider with an Appeal

Appeals can take years. If you are considering appealing your divorce ruling, ask yourself if it is worth your time, money, and energy to continue pursuing your appeal for possibly the next year or two. Depending on the terms of your ruling, it might be or it might not be. Before you make any absolute decision about filing an appeal, discuss it with your attorney.

You could be required to make spousal maintenance or child support payments while your appeal is pending. These can be paused through an order known as a stay, but you are not guaranteed a stay.

Another issue to consider is the strength of your argument for an appeal. Why are you seeking an appeal? Keep your emotions out of it and focus solely on whether you truly feel the court followed the correct procedures.

Kane County Divorce Attorneys

For more information about appealing your divorce settlement in Illinois, contact Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 today to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm. We are a team of knowledgeable, compassionate Kane County divorce attorneys serving divorce clients in the area. We can answer any questions you have about the process of appealing your divorce settlement and help you get the fair hearing that you deserve.




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