If you don’t like a judge’s decision, what can you do?
Family law matters are some of the most important legal issues that residents in Lake County or other parts of the Chicago area will face in their lives. After all, family law issues like custody and visitation can affect a parent’s relationship with his or her child, a relationship which most if not all Illinois residents consider more important than any amount of money. Also, even financial matters like child support can have a profound impact on a family.
The sad reality is that, despite their best efforts, a parent is not always going to get everything he or she wants after taking a child custody, support or other family law matter before a judge. While sometimes this is just the way the law and the facts play out, in many other cases a judge makes a legal mistake that really should be corrected.
When judges make mistakes in family law matters, moms and dads have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court, which is, in most cases, the proper district of the Illinois Appellate Court. Like any court case, a mom or dad who does not like a family law decision can appeal once a “final order” has been entered, which means the case has been decided in all respects.
As a word of caution, there is a very strict 30-day deadline for filing an appeal once a final order gets entered. Moreover, special rules and procedures apply to appeals that do not apply in other types of legal proceedings, and these special rules and procedures can be quite complicated. It is generally best to discuss a family law appeal with a qualified family law attorney who does appellate work.
Although it is always best when they accomplish their goals during an initial family law case, Illinois parents have options if a family law case does not go the way they wanted.