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What to Consider before Modifying a Divorce Decree
07 Dec, 2022
Divorce

What to Consider before Modifying a Divorce Decree

When you receive your divorce decree, it is considered final, and the terms set forward are enforceable. Divorce decrees cannot be modified as a matter of course or simply because one of the parties wants a change, but if there is a compelling reason for requesting a modification, the court will take the matter into consideration. Before seeking a modification, however, it’s important to consider a wide range of relevant factors, and having an experienced Illinois divorce attorney in your corner is well advised. 

Follow the Terms of Your Divorce

The terms of your divorce remain in effect – unless they are modified by the court. This means that you should continue to adhere to them until you are able to obtain a modification. Even if you and your spouse are in agreement on the modification in question, failing to make it official with the court leaves you vulnerable to being found in contempt of court (if your ex changes his or her mind with the passage of time). In other words, if you need a modification, it’s important to seek one through the court. 

A Parenting Time Modification

The court will consider parenting plan and order modifications only when there is a significant reason for doing so. A common example is when one parent faces an involuntary job relocation. In the past, Illinois has been very strict regarding parental moves, but now, as long as the distance does not exceed 25 or 50 miles (depending upon the county), parents do not need permission from the court to move. When moving a more considerable distance that substantially interferes with the other parent’s relationship with your shared children, you’ll need to obtain a modification with the court. 

A Child Support Modification

Child support reviews are allowed every three years in Illinois, but if either of the following happens, the court may consider a modification:  

  • One or more of the children’s needs change substantially. 
  • Either parent experiences a significant increase or decrease in income.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re seeking a modification and it is determined that your children’s other parent doesn’t have the financial means to pay, your current support could be decreased. In other words, pushing forward for a modification at all costs is not a great strategy. 

Alimony

Alimony generally ends when the recipient remarries or moves in with a romantic partner, but there are other instances when modifications are considered. If either party experiences a substantial change in monetary circumstances, such as a serious health concern, loss of a job, or another kind of unforeseeable life event, the court will likely consider a modification request.    

You Need an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney on your Side

The trusted Illinois divorce attorneys at SLG Family Law have a wealth of experience helping clients like you determine when post-decree modifications are in order and helping them obtain the modifications to which they are entitled. Learn more about how we can also help you by contacting us today.

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