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Wheaton divorce modification attorneyYour life does not, of course, remain static. You may move, remarry, have children, or experience any other major event that will cause drastic life changes. If this happens, it may be necessary to make a modification to your divorce judgment, because what once was acceptable may now be too expensive, or it may be inequitable in terms of cost or time spent. Still, a modification may not be made simply on a whim. There are requirements that must be met in order to make such adjustments.

What Can Be Modified?

Under Illinois law, almost every part of a divorce decree can be modified if sufficient evidence is shown for the necessity. Most of the time, updates are requested due to changes in living conditions, such as the loss of a job or a relocation. Generally, however, the most common type of change requested in Illinois is the modification of spousal or child support.

To have a modification granted, the movant must show a substantial change in circumstances. That substantial change must be shown even if your situation is in dire need of adjustment, because without that requirement, in theory, any spouse could just appear in court and demand a change without justification.

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DuPage County divorce enforcement lawyerIn divorce cases, child support or spousal maintenance payments are often ordered. If you have been awarded spousal support or child support, chances are you need those payments in order to provide for your family’s needs. In some cases, a spouse may not be consistent in making support payments, or he or she may refuse to pay them altogether. Not only can this be frustrating, but it can also result in serious legal ramifications for the non-paying spouse. Both types of support orders are legal court orders, meaning a person can face harsh consequences if they are not followed. Illinois courts have various ways of enforcing support orders when this becomes necessary.

Failure to Pay Support in Illinois

The state of Illinois does everything in its power to ensure that those who are required to pay spousal support or child support do so. There are several different ways a person can be held in contempt for failing to pay a support order, according to the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act. A person may be found to be in contempt if he or she:

  • Willfully refuses to pay maintenance to his or her ex-spouse, with the knowledge that his or her ex needs such maintenance.

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Wheaton child support lawyer for college expensesIn almost every situation in which a child’s parents are separated, both parents are obligated to contribute financially to the child’s regular needs through child support. This includes expenses related to the child’s K-12 education, but it does not necessarily include expenses related to college or post-secondary education. For this reason, Illinois has special provisions in place that may require both parents to contribute to their children’s higher education even after they have reached the age of 18. As a parent, it is important to be aware of what you might be required to pay.

Calculating College Expenses in Illinois

In most cases, tuition and housing are the largest expenses associated with a college education. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average cost of tuition and fees in the 2019-2020 academic year was $10,116 for in-state students and $22,577 for out-of-state students at public schools, and $36,801 for students at private schools. The cost of room and board varies significantly depending on the college or university, but average costs in recent years come in at around $10,000 annually.

When ordering separated parents to contribute to college expenses, Illinois tries to keep costs manageable by requiring parents to pay, at most, the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board for an in-state student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the 2020-2021 school year at the University of Illinois, tuition and fees are estimated to be between $17,000 and $22,000, and room and board is estimated at around $12,000. Actual expenses for parents could be less if their children are attending a school or educational program with lower costs.

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DuPage County divorce attorney child support order modification

With U.S. unemployment numbers reaching historic highs over the last several months, many Illinois residents are finding themselves incapable of paying their child support and spousal support. Unfortunately, despite these extenuating circumstances and even if you are unemployed, you are still required to make these payments. Here are the consequences of failure to pay and what you can do if you know you will be unable to pay your spousal maintenance or child support by their due date.

What Happens If You Do Not Pay Child Support or Spousal Support?

If you neglect to pay the child support or spousal maintenance payments ordered by the court in your divorce decree, any or all of the following could happen:

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal supportIf you have kids from a prior marriage, then you know that the divorce proceedings are hardly the last time you will hear from your former spouse. There are all sorts of things that you two must continue to work through, especially if your children are under the age of 18, including child supportparenting timeparental responsibilitiesspousal support, and much more. But how will this change if you decide to remarry? Will your new spouse be responsible for any of the parental responsibilities or child support? How will spousal support change? While at one time there was a clear-cut answer to all of these questions, in recent years, there is much more gray area when making some of these determinations in Illinois. The following is a look at how remarriage can change things after your divorce.

Remarriage and Its Impact on Divorce Obligations

With regards to spousal maintenance, the following is true in Illinois:

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