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DuPage County family law attorneyThe divorce process is often a long and difficult one for the people going through it. It is no wonder, then, that once it is over, the parties involved feel relieved knowing their divorce decree is final. However, while the orders included in a divorce decree are legally binding, that does not mean they cannot be changed in the future. 

The courts do not take post-decree modifications lightly, but it is possible to obtain one when a person’s situation changes significantly. If you have gotten a divorce and now wish to modify one or more of the orders, below are some of the most important things you should know about these modifications.

Three Terms that Require Modification

In most cases, there are three issues that may require post-divorce modifications. These are:

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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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Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County parenting plan modification lawyerDuring the process of your divorce, it is important to reach a resolution on a parenting plan in accordance with your children’s best interests at the time. However, chances are that your life situation will change significantly in the years following your divorce, and the original parenting plan may no longer meet your children’s needs or your own. When this is the case, you should consider pursuing a legal modification to the parenting plan that better accounts for your family’s current circumstances.

Reasons to Modify Your Parenting Agreement in Illinois

After your divorce, you may modify a parenting time agreement at any time as long as you can demonstrate that the change is in your children’s best interests. Parental decision-making responsibilities, on the other hand, typically cannot be modified until two years after the original agreement was finalized, except in circumstances in which the children’s mental or physical health is at risk. Specific reasons to modify your parenting plan may include:

  • A parent’s move: A move to a new home within 25 or 50 miles may necessitate some changes to your parenting time schedule, while a longer-distance relocation may require a major adjustment, as well as additional approval from the court.

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DuPage County spousal support modification lawyerAlthough divorce is a fairly common occurrence these days, every couple’s situation is unique. In some cases, spousal support/maintenance may be awarded to one spouse. Under Illinois law, the court considers various factors when determining whether to award maintenance (also known as alimony), and the law provides guidelines for calculating the amount and duration of support payments. Orders can be modified, however, if a substantial change warrants it. To request a modification of the support amount or to ask that the payments be terminated, the individual seeking the modification must file a petition with the court where the order was originally issued.

Reasons for Modification

Family situations can change due to extenuating circumstances. According to Illinois law, there are several events that constitute an automatic spousal support order modification, including:

  • Remarriage

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