Despite your best efforts, your family law case may not have gone your way. Perhaps you received an unfavorable ruling on some key points in your divorce, or maybe you lost because of a default ruling. Alternatively, your case may have been mishandled by a judge that made a mistake or did not fully understand your situation. Whatever the reason behind your unfavorable ruling, you may still have options. The following explains these options, and details how you can ensure you have the protection and representation you need and deserve along the way.
Appealing a Default Judgement
Typically, defendants have only 30 days to respond to a family law petition. Failure to do so can result in a default judgement, which essentially means the plaintiff’s wishes are granted. Your own concerns - including any that you may contest - are not heard. Thankfully, it may be possible to have the default judgement reversed.
If the judgement was entered less than 30 days ago, you may be able to file a motion to vacate the default judgement. Judges will often grant this motion because they prefer to rule on facts and merits rather than procedure. If it has been more than 30 days since the ruling, your fight will be more difficult. Generally speaking, you must be able to prove that there was some sort of defect in the petition, or the service of it, that kept you from responding in a timely manner.
Entering a Motion to Reconsider
If you responded to your petition and appeared in court but were unhappy with a financial decision in your divorce or family law case, you may be able to file a motion to reconsider. Keep in mind that you cannot simply re-argue the same points. Instead, you must be able to provide new evidence that was unavailable at the time of your ruling. Note that the information must also be significant enough to warrant a change to your decree.
Appealing Your Case
Appeals can be used to address nearly any family law issue, but they must be filed within a short time period after the initial ruling (typically 30 days). Unfortunately, this short time frame for appealing does not lessen the time you will likely spend awaiting your new trial. In some cases, the process can take a year or longer - and you are not guaranteed a positive outcome. This is why it is critical to ensure you have an experienced attorney on your side throughout the process. Able to ensure your rights are protected, and that you have built a strong case to argue your point (even if that point is that a mistake was made in the original ruling), a family law attorney can improve your chances of a positive outcome in an appeal.
Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys
Dealing with a divorce or child-related family law matter can be an emotionally overwhelming experience. An unfavorable ruling can exasperate any negative feelings you have. Thankfully, you can still fight back, and Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Committed to your best interests, our DuPage County family law attorneys will strive for the best outcome possible for your situation. To learn more, call 630-932-9100 and schedule your free consultation today.
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