It is important to know that either party can appeal the outcome of the case if they believe that the court wrongly decided one or more issues in the divorce. Indeed, although most people do not think about appeals in divorces, similar to other types of legal cases, the parties have an opportunity to appeal after a divorce is finalized. Whether you have questions about the appeal process or you need assistance appealing a wrongly decided divorce issue, an experienced Milwaukee divorce appeals lawyer can speak with you about your options.
Learning More About Divorce Appeals in Milwaukee
You might be surprised to learn that a divorce can be appealed, but you may indeed have options to appeal a problematic outcome from your divorce case. What do you need to know about divorce appeals in Milwaukee? First, you should seek advice as soon as possible from a divorce appeals lawyer in Milwaukee who has experience handling appeals to ensure that you file your appeal in a timely manner. Appeals must be filed within either 45 days or 90 days from the date of the order you are appealing, depending upon the specific circumstances.
Similar to other appeals, your appeal will be heard by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. This court is made up of a panel of three judges. They will hear the case, and they will determine whether the trial court (i.e., the divorce court that granted the divorce) made an error. If the Court of Appeals does determine that the lower court made an error, it can either correct the mistake that was made or send your case back to the lower court with instructions for the lower court to correct the error.
If your divorce was issued as a final order, you have the ability to appeal if you are unhappy with the outcome. Other types of order may require permission to appeal. A non-final order can be appealed with permission from the Court of Appeals as an interlocutory appeal. Finally, there are some types of orders that cannot be appealed. If you entered into an agreement as part of your divorce case and the agreement was incorporated into the final divorce order, the terms of the agreement cannot usually be appealed.
How the Milwaukee Divorce Appeals Process Works
It is critical to understand that the Court of Appeals will review the divorce case presented in the lower court. To be clear, the Court of Appeals will not hear your divorce case anew, but instead will consider the case that you already went through in order to determine whether or not any errors occurred. You will not typically go to court again as you did in your divorce. Instead, you will submit a brief, and you will only go to court if the Court of Appeals has questions. Then the Court will issue a decision several months later.
How long should you expect the appeals process to take in Milwaukee? Appeals in divorce cases generally take an average of just under 10 months, according to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals Annual Report. An experienced Milwaukee divorce appeals lawyer can evaluate your case to provide you with more detailed information about the timeline you should anticipate in your case.
If the Court of Appeals finds in favor of the other party, it may be possible to appeal to the Supreme Court. If the decision of the Court of Appeals is unfavorable to you, you may be eligible to file a petition for an appeal, but you must do so within 30 days of receiving the decision from the Court of Appeals. When a person petitions the Supreme Court to review their case, they must file a Petition for Review. This document makes an argument as to why the Supreme Court should review the case, but it does not promise that the case will be heard. Only a small portion of cases for which Petitions for Review are filed are actually granted. The Supreme Court will typically review Court of Appeals decisions if there is a question of law, if lower courts have been split on an issue at stake, or if your case raises an important policy question.
Before you make the decision to file a Petition for Review, you should seek guidance from an appeals lawyer in Milwaukee who can advise you.
Steps in the Divorce Appeals Process in Milwaukee
What steps should you expect in the appeals process? The following are the steps that you should expect in a divorce appeal in Milwaukee:
- File a Notice of Appeal, which must be done within 90 days from the date of your divorce order (or within 45 days in some cases);
- Notify the opposing party and the divorce judge of your appeal;
- Submit your written brief, in which you detail the error made by the lower court, and your follow-up reply brief;
- Go to court and attend oral argument only if necessary; and
- Wait for the written decision to come from the Court of Appeals.