Post-Divorce Modifications Attorney Located in Naperville, Illinois
After your divorce is finished, things may change over time in your life, creating the need for post-decree modifications. Some of the changes may be completely unexpected and unanticipated. As a result, you may notice that what worked at the time of the divorce may not work forever. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to change a parental responsibilities (custody) agreement, a child support order, or even modify spousal support (maintenance.)
At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, we are experienced in post-divorce modifications and have dealt with hundreds of clients seeking to change the terms and provisions in their divorce decrees. I understand that life, needs, and circumstances change over time. If you are considering pursuing a post-decree modification, contact me to discuss your unique situation. I can examine the details of your case and help you devise a legal strategy to obtain a favorable outcome.
From my office in Naperville, Illinois, I help clients handle post-divorce modification cases throughout the state, including Oak Brook, Warrenville, Hinsdale, St. Charles, Wheaton, Geneva, and Downers Grove.
What Is a Post-Decree Modification?
After a divorce is final, parties may no longer be satisfied with the terms of their divorce settlement. Typically, post-decree modifications involve requests to modify the following court orders:
Child custody (parental responsibilities). While Illinois law no longer uses the term “child custody,” many people still refer to parental responsibilities orders as child custody. A modification to child custody is possible when the parents’ circumstances or the child’s needs change, making it difficult to comply with the terms of the order.
Child support. There are a few circumstances that may warrant a modification to child support. A parent has a right to request changes to a child support order regardless of whether they pay or receive support.
Spousal maintenance (alimony). As with child support, a modification to spousal maintenance may be permitted by the court under certain circumstances. Spousal support could be terminated or decreased/increased at the request of either spouse.
Contempt. Often, a spouse pursues a post-divorce modification when the other spouse violates the terms of a family court order. When this happens, the non-compliant party could face penalties if found to be in contempt of court.
Consider speaking with a skilled post-divorce modifications attorney in Naperville, Illinois, to learn more about the circumstances that warrant modifications to child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Modifying Child Custody/Support
In Illinois, courts may modify parental responsibilities orders (also known as child custody orders) when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. The change in circumstances must have arisen since the entry of the original or last modified order and was not anticipated at the time of entry. The following situations may warrant modifications to child support:
Changes in the child’s needs or health
A parent’s conviction of a violent crime
Child abuse, neglect, or abandonment
Child support is also modifiable in Illinois. Parties can request to change the amount of child support when material changes in circumstances arise, such as the loss of a job, changes in income, or promotion. Child support orders last until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years of age) and becomes an adult.
Modifying Spousal Support
Under certain circumstances, spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, can be either modified or terminated in Illinois. Situations in which spousal support automatically terminates include:
Remarriage. The supported party automatically loses their right to spousal maintenance upon remarriage. Illinois law requires the party receiving alimony to notify the paying party at least 30 days before the remarriage.
Cohabitation. Another situation that warrants termination of spousal support in Illinois is the supported party’s cohabitation. Cohabitation is defined as living with another person in a continuous conjugal relationship.
Death. If either party dies, alimony payments stop. In other words, if the payor dies, their estate will not have an obligation to keep paying spousal support to the decedent’s ex-spouse.
The payor or supported spouse can request changes to a spousal maintenance order by filing a motion to modify it. Post-divorce modifications to spousal support are possible if the requesting party can demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.
What You Need to Know About the Modification Process
If you want to change a child support, spousal support, or parental responsibilities order, you need to understand what steps to take to succeed in your efforts to modify a family court order. Obtaining a modification can seem overwhelming, especially if you do not know where to start. That is why you may need to seek legal assistance from a knowledgeable family law attorney.
The modification process in Illinois involves a number of procedural requirements that must be followed to increase your chances of a successful outcome. If you want to modify an existing family court order, you need to file a motion to modify with the court that entered the current order.
If the parties agree to the proposed modification, the court is likely to approve the motion. However, if parties cannot reach an agreement, they may need to resolve their issues through mediation before the judge intervenes. If the attempts to mediate fail, the modification case will proceed to trial, where it will be up to the judge to make the final and binding decision.
Post-Divorce Modifications Attorney Serving Naperville, IL
At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC, I help clients in Naperville, Illinois, and surrounding areas appeal a family law decision and obtain a post-divorce modification. If you wonder whether or not your situation warrants a modification to child support, child custody, or spousal support, contact me today for a case evaluation. I will advise you on your best course of action and help you navigate the modification process.