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When Should I Modify the Terms of My Illinois Divorce Decree?

Posted on in Divorce

Algonquin divorce attorney order modification

Once your divorce is finalized, it is important to recognize that the terms ordered or approved in court are legally binding and that there can be significant consequences if you fail to follow them. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are forever trapped by an agreement that puts you at a disadvantage, especially if your situation has changed significantly since your divorce. When circumstances call for it, you can pursue a legal modification to your divorce decree that considers your current state of affairs.

Reasons for a Divorce Decree Modification

The most common elements of a divorce decree that can be modified are spousal support, child support, and the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. There are a number of possible situations in which a modification may be necessary or beneficial, including:

  • A change in either party’s income, employment, or earning capacity: If you are responsible for paying child support or spousal maintenance, a decrease in your monthly income can make it difficult to uphold the original terms of your divorce. You also may pursue a modification if your ex-spouse has experienced an increase in income that allows him or her to be more self-sufficient and contribute more substantially to your children’s needs.

  • A change in your children’s needs: After your divorce, your children’s financial needs may increase, perhaps because of their education or health, which may mean it is necessary to revisit your child support order to ensure that both parents contribute their fair share. A change in your children’s schedule or routine may mean that you need to adjust your parenting time agreement.

  • A change in parents’ schedules: You may also decide that your parenting time agreement should be modified if you or your ex has experienced a change in your work schedule or another life change that makes it difficult for you to make the most of your allocated time with your children.

  • A parent’s relocation: If one parent moves a significant distance away at some point after your divorce, you will likely need to adjust your parenting plan significantly to account for long-distance co-parenting and travel between households.

If you and your ex can agree on a modification, you may simply need to file it for the court’s approval. However, if your ex contests your petition for modification, you may need an attorney to help you make the case that the modification is necessary due to your situation or your children’s best interests. In either case, you should make sure that you continue to follow the original terms of your divorce decree until your modification has been approved in court.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Modification Attorney

The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC are here for you both during and after your divorce to assist with any legal counsel and representation you may need. We can help you determine when a modification is in your best interest and follow the necessary legal process to obtain approval. Contact our skilled and dedicated Geneva divorce lawyer today at parent to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K610.5.htm

 

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