Couples enter marriage with high hopes – nobody wants or expects to get divorced in Illinois. But divorce rates are notoriously high, and many relationships ultimately come to an end. When a couple decides to get divorced, certain issues must be resolved and codified in a formal divorce decree. Asset division, parenting agreements, and child support payments are either agreed upon by both spouses or ordered by a judge and then written in the divorce order.
It is one of those unfortunate facts of life that both spouses may not be completely satisfied with the divorce arrangements. Under very limited circumstances, a divorce order may be appealed and changed. If you feel as though your divorce judgment was made in error, it is important to understand when divorce decrees can be appealed.
When Can a Divorce Decree Be Appealed?
Although the right to appeal is an important part of Illinois law, individuals cannot appeal their divorce decree simply because they dislike it or disagree with the terms. Appeals can only be made within 30 days of the original judgment when there has been a potential error. Examples of errors include:
Spouses hid or lied about assets, leading to an unfair asset division
Child support was incorrectly calculated
A judge misinterpreted or wrongly applied the law
Evidence was admitted that should not have been
When a divorce decree is appealed, the case is escalated to the Illinois Court of Appeals. In an appellate court, three judges will hear arguments, evaluate evidence, and then make a decision whether to uphold the divorce decree, amend certain parts of it, or vacate the judgment altogether. If the Court of Appeals decides to change all or part of a divorce decree, they will issue a ruling on the problematic area and send the case back down to the trial courts to be resolved.
When certain issues are at play, such as challenges to a particular law that a divorcee believes is unconstitutional, the case can be appealed all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. A case going as far as the Supreme Court is very rare, so the Court of Appeals is as high as most divorce cases ever go.
Schedule a Consultation with a Hinsdale, IL Divorce Lawyer
At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our skilled Cook County divorce attorneys are committed to making the divorce process understandable and straightforward. Even after your divorce is over, you may want to make changes to your decree or parenting agreement, and we are here to help. Schedule a consultation over the phone or in person by calling our offices today at 630-575-8585.