Preparing for a Divorce Appeal


Divorce appeals are often long and complex. In the state of Illinois, you must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the court’s final ruling in your case (which you can read more about in our blog post “How do I appeal my divorce?“).

Successfully appealing a divorce requires counsel from an attorney who has extensive experience practicing appeals. The goal of an appeal case is to prove that the trial court’s decision contained legal errors, or was mishandled or unfair. In order to do this, your attorney must build an ironclad narrative rooted in facts, details and technicalities.

What should I look for in an attorney?

You are not required to use the same attorney who handled your divorce for your appeal case. Not all divorce and family law attorneys practice appellate law or are well-versed in the intricacies of the appeal process.

We encourage you to do your due diligence and hire an attorney who has the background and skills to manage your case. This includes everything from a success record with appeals and procedural knowledge, to effective research, analysis and litigation skills.

How can I help my attorney?

Building a compelling case is key to winning an appeal. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough examination of every piece of evidence and documentation to establish a strategy and basis for your appeal. Curating and organizing all documents relevant to your case—emails, financial records, transcripts, sources and other items—is a critical first step and a great way to help your attorney.

You should also prepare to speak about your background and case: an overview of your marriage and divorce, your motive for appeal and your end goals. This will help your attorney understand your history and priorities, while kick starting an open line of communication in your relationship.

How long will an appeal take, and how much will it cost?

There are no defined timelines or costs for an appeal case. The appellate court routinely grants extensions to file briefs and prolong sessions, which can make for a lengthy process.

When it comes to cost, it all depends on the specifics of a case. The reading and research phase alone can take a substantial amount of time and should not be rushed, as this is where your attorney will lay the foundation of your case.

After identifying an expert attorney to lead your case, they can walk you through what to expect with both timeline and cost.

Contact Us for a Divorce Appeal Consultation Today

At Stern Perkoski Mendez, our principal and managing partner, Joshua E. Stern, specializes in appeal cases and welcomes the chance to meet with you and hear more about your specific needs. Joshua combines his empathetic approach and transparent communication style with years of expertise and meeting clients’ goals.

Request a free consultation with Joshua or call us at (847) 868-9584. He 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.