If your marriage is going to end in divorce, the court will issue a decree making the termination of the marriage official. However, changes after your divorce is final may prompt one of the spouses to want to modify the original order. Post-divorce modifications can pertain to a variety of matters, from child custody to spousal support.

Consider contacting a lawyer in Frankfort if you feel that your divorce decree should be modified due to a change of circumstances. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can potentially pursue a divorce decree modification on your behalf and help you develop a better understanding of your legal rights and options.

Common Post-Divorce Modifications

In the divorce context, significant changes in the lives of any involved party can make it appropriate to revisit the divorce decree and modify one or more of its terms to better serve your needs. After you are divorced, life is going to happen and things will change. Some changes are minor, but some changes will require you to reevaluate your divorce and make appropriate changes. There are several areas of a final divorce decree that may need to be changed.

Child Support

If you are ordered to pay child support, the amount of your child support will likely change especially if your children are younger at the time of your divorce. Child support can change for several reasons. For example, your income increases or decreases significantly from the time of the divorce, you could have a change in employment, experience medical problems, or other hardship. If things change, it is important that you properly file a motion to modify child support.

Alimony

If you are ordered to pay alimony (AKA maintenance or spousal support), it is very important to understand the terms of your divorce decree because you may have an option to reduce or terminate your obligation under certain circumstances. Significant changes in the lives of ex-spouses may warrant revisiting the order requiring one spouse to pay alimony. A common example of this is when the individual being paid alimony gets remarried. Your situation is different from any other divorce so it is important to review your options with a professional.

Parenting Time

Children grow older and often experience changing activity schedules. It may be necessary to modify a parenting time agreement if this happens. The schedule that you entered at the time of the divorce may not be working as your children grow older so it is important to modify your divorce to reflect the current circumstances.

What Constitutes a Substantial Change of Circumstances?

Family law judges in Illinois have broad discretion to determine what actually constitutes a substantial change of circumstances. Certain situations commonly arise that clearly justify modifying a divorce decree. A judge may agree to modify a divorce under the following circumstances:

  • One or both parents moved and now live a substantial distance apart, disrupting their parenting time agreement
  • One of the parties gets a big job promotion or finds different employment with a substantially higher salary
  • One of the parties have a significant reduction of income
  • One parent refuses to comply with the parenting time plan
  • There is evidence that one of the parents has been physically abusing the child
  • The medical or educational needs of the child change significantly
  • The child expresses their wish to have a parenting time arrangement

It is important to note that a court will always strive to consider the best interests of your child in post-divorce modification involving child custody and child support. A Frankfort attorney could help determine whether a post-divorce modification is appropriate.

Discuss your Options with a Post-Divorce Modification Attorney in Frankfort

Modifying a divorce decree in Illinois is possible but there generally must be a substantial change of circumstances, such as if a parent gets a big pay raise or moves far away. Contact a Frankfort lawyer if you would like to explore your options for a post-divorce modification. The attorneys at Reidy Law Office LLC can help you examine your circumstances to determine whether they warrant a modification. Call today to get started.

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