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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for appealsMost divorcing spouses hope to avoid going to trial. They may attempt to reach an agreement about unresolved divorce issues through their attorneys, with help from a third-party mediator, or through the collaborative law process. Unfortunately, not every couple is able to reach a settlement outside of court. During divorce litigation, a judge hears arguments and evidence from both sides and then issues a judgment. If your divorce judgment did not turn out the way you had hoped, you may wonder what your options are for appealing the court’s decision.

When Should I Seek an Appeal?

Many people assume that they can file an appeal if they disagree with the terms of their divorce judgment. However, successfully appealing a divorce judgment is a complex legal pursuit that is only possible under certain conditions. A person cannot appeal a divorce simply because he or she is unhappy with the outcome of the case. Circuit court decisions, including divorce judgments, may only be appealed if there is a possibility that the decision resulted from errors of law. Examples of situations in which an appeal may be justified include:

  • The judge made his or her decision based on incomplete or false information
  • There was a procedural mistake that influenced the outcome of the case
  • The decision was based on the judge’s incorrect interpretation or application of the law
  • Evidence was used which was inadmissible or insufficient

What Does the Appeals Process Involve?

If there are reasons to warrant an appeal of your divorce judgment, it is important to act quickly. Appeals must be filed with the Illinois appellate court within 30 days of the final judgment. The appealing party must explain the grounds for the appeal and what the alleged mistakes are. The appellate court’s function is to examine what happened during the trial court proceedings and determine whether legal errors occurred. Illinois appeals are heard by three judges. They will evaluate the evidence, hear arguments, and then make their decisions. The judges may uphold the circuit court’s original decision, amend the divorce judgment to correct the mistake, or vacate the judgment and send the case back to the circuit court.

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Naperville divorce attorney appealWhen a couple pursues a divorce, the ideal situation revolves around securing a mutually beneficial settlement. When a couple can work together, either through a collaborative divorce or the assistance of a mediator, issues can be resolved on the couple’s terms. However, in some cases, couples are unable to work together to find a resolution, and litigation is necessary. 

Your divorce will affect a wide variety of issues, ranging from child custody to the division of marital property, and a judge’s decisions can have a monumental impact on your life. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case, it may be possible to pursue an appeal. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options for appealing a divorce judgment and represent the best interests of your family throughout the legal process. 

Understanding the Appeals Process in Illinois 

The first thing to understand is that an appeal will only be warranted if some sort of error was made during the trial. Examples of legal errors could include an instance in which the judge did not have access to all necessary information, or if the decisions made did not follow the law correctly. Once your attorney has established that your appeal is based on reasonable grounds, it is important to act quickly. Appeals must typically be filed within 30 days after the divorce judgment.

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