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When the Law Is Misapplied in Your Illinois Divorce

Appeal – Lawyer carries a stack of 3 file folders. One folder has the label Appeal. Symbol for law, justice, judgement

In Illinois divorce cases, the judge’s ruling often makes one party unhappy, but if that party believes the law was misapplied, there are steps to take to appeal the decision. While it is normal for one spouse to feel unhappy with the ruling in a disputed divorce, there are instances when accepting the decision and moving on is not the best course of action. In Illinois, individuals in this situation have two options to consider.

File a Motion for Reconsideration

If the individual feels the court made the wrong ruling and it should be reversed, they can file a motion for reconsideration. This is only possible if the individual, often with the help of a divorce attorney, can prove that the initial ruling was incorrect, such as if the ruling did not include all of the evidence that impacts the decision. The party filing this motion must be able to prove that a mistake was made and that the mistake impacted the overall outcome of the case.

This particular motion requires one of three scenarios. A motion to reconsider is filed if the law was misapplied. It is also filed if changes in the law change the potential outcome of the case. Finally, this tool is used when new evidence comes to light after the final ruling.

File an Appeal

A second option is to file an appeal. This is an appeal to a superior court in the same jurisdiction. The goal in a divorce case appeal is to get more details about what the law is and how it applies to that particular case. To file an appeal, the individual must act within 30 days of the final judgment of divorce. In cases involving children, parents can file an appeal as soon as the court issues a temporary ruling.

An appeal requires the court’s permission and can be quite costly. They also take a lot of time. The goal of the appeal is for the court to determine if the lower court made a mistake with the evidence they had. New evidence does not require an appeal, but rather a motion for reconsideration, because the appellate court will only look at the already presented evidence. For this reason, divorce lawyers are often hesitant to recommend an appeal unless they feel their clients have a strong case.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.