How do I appeal my divorce?


Not all divorce rulings are final. If you feel the judge who presided over your case made a mistake in their decision, misapplied the law or abused their discretion, you may have grounds to appeal your case. The appeal process applies to all civil cases, including divorce and parentage. Cases are most likely to be successful if there is a logical or legal reason the ruling is deemed incorrect—and if there’s a tangible way to correct it.

At Stern Perkoski Mendez, our divorce and family law attorneys are prepared to guide you through the intricacies and considerations of the appeal process. If you’re thinking of appealing your divorce, here are some things to know.

What are the first steps to appealing a divorce?

In the state of Illinois, you must file for a notice of appeal within 30 days of the final judgment. There is a correct order of steps to take—from certifying the record on appeal to notifying the trial and appellate courts.

If you’d like to appeal your divorce, we encourage you to contact an attorney immediately so you can begin the process in a timely manner and receive professional guidance to ensure no steps are overlooked.

What is the difference between appealing a divorce and a modification of judgment?

Modifications of a case take place in a trial court, and appeals take place in an appellate court. Modifications adjust the terms of a divorce ruling and typically occur due to a change in circumstances. Appeals challenge a ruling based on improper application of the law, justness or the introduction of new, substantial facts.

If you’re looking to modify a judgment, it’s important to note that two decisions are final:

  1. Property settlement
  2. Waivers of attorney fees

However, in the state of Illinois, many decisions are modifiable, including child support, parenting time and parental decision authority. Maintenance is typically modifiable, but there are circumstances when it’s not.

To determine if your case is appealable, you must have a final order. If your case isn’t appealable but a ruling within it is, such as child support, you can pursue appealing that specific issue.

Act Quickly to Appeal Your Divorce: Contact Stern Perkoski Mendez

If your divorce was recently finalized and you have valid cause for an appeal, please reach out to our divorce and family law attorneys as quickly as possible—and within 30 days of final judgment. It’s possible to appeal after 30 days, but the process is more complicated.

We understand these disputes can be stressful and complicated. Our seasoned attorneys have navigated a wide range of appeal cases and are committed to providing you with sound insights and strategy to help you reach the resolution you deserve.

Request a free consultation or call us at (847) 868-9584. We can meet you at our offices in Evanston, Chicago, Lake Forest or Oak Brook, or at a location that’s convenient for you.

Make an Appointment Today

For a free consultation, call Stern Perkoski Mendez at (847) 868-9584 or contact us.