How to Appeal a Child Custody Order in Illinois
By: M. Scott Gordon
In Illinois, family courts have a duty to make child custody decisions by applying the state’s best interests of the child legal standard. Despite their best efforts, courts do not make the correct decision in every case. Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, you may end up on the wrong side of an error.
You still have legal options available. In Illinois, you have the right to appeal a child custody order. Though, you only have a limited amount of time to take action. Here, our Chicago child custody appeals attorney provides an overview of the most important things that Illinois parents need to know about filing an appeal in a custody case.
Strict Deadlines: You Must Take Immediate Action
Family law appeals start with the filing of a Notice of Appeal. Following a final order in a child custody case, parties have 30 days to submit their Notice of Appeal. To be clear, you are not required to file the entire appeal itself within this time frame. It is only the Notice of Appeal that must be filed within this strict deadline. If you fail to file it before the deadline expires, then the appellate court will be legally barred from hearing your case. The initial decision — even though it may be wrong or unfair — will be final.
Note: In certain circumstances, parties only have 14 days to appeal a custody decision. Specifically, temporary child custody orders that are made before the case itself is finalized are subject to a 14-day deadline for appeals. This is pursuant to Civil Appeals Rules: Rule 306(b).
The Notice of Appeal Must Be Served on the Other Party
In addition to submitting a Notice of Appeal to the court, the appellant also has a duty to serve notice on the other party. Indeed, within seven days of filing your Notice of Appeal with the court, you should serve the other party. Your Chicago family appeals lawyer will ensure that your appeal is properly served and that all other procedural requirements are met.
Understanding the Standard for Child Custody Appeals
When preparing a child custody appeal, it is important to remember you do not get to ‘redo’ the entire case. Parties to a custody appeal are not starting from scratch. Quite the contrary; a successful family law appeal requires pointing to a specific error made by the court. Appellate law is extremely complex. Parents considering appealing a child custody order should be sure to consult with a qualified Chicago family lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you build the strongest case.
Get Help From a Chicago Family Law Appeals Lawyer Today
At M. Scott Gordon & Associates, we are committed to providing parents with legal guidance that is effective, aggressive, and affordable. Our Chicago child custody appeals lawyer has extensive experience handling challenging mistake in custody cases. To schedule a free, fully private review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today. With an office in Chicago, we represent parents throughout Cook County, Illinois.