Sometimes life simply does not work out as we plan. This can include marriage, but also the divorce agreement that is put in place at the end of the divorce process. Over time, some of our life situations change, which necessitates the need for divorce modification. If you and your ex-spouse agree on the necessary adjustments, the process is relatively stress-free. If you do not see eye-to-eye, it becomes more complicated.
Timing is Everything
If you need to modify the property division terms, you must do so before the period for appeal expires. According to Illinois law, you have 30 days after the filing of the final divorce agreement to file a motion, after which, only specific topics qualify for amendment. The topics eligible for modification include parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance.
Burden of Proof
To alter your standing agreement, you must have sufficient evidence supporting the claim that a modification is necessary. A divorce decree can only be modified if there is proof of a significant change in one or both parties’ circumstances. What constitutes substantial change is different for every case and is based on the sole discretion of the court. Conditions which may warrant an adjustment include a change in employment, change in marital status, serious health problems, and relocation.
Although it is possible for you and your ex to negotiate a deal that works, without final approval from a judge, nothing you agree to is enforceable in court. Therefore, it is vital to involve the court, no matter how badly you would prefer to avoid it. If you choose to take care of it on your own, and your ex reports you for acting outside of the boundaries of the original decree, the judge will likely abide by the existing order, rather than your claims of another agreement.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
Changing a divorce decree requires the same level of adept legal representation as divorce itself. If life changes have affected parts of your agreement, a Wheaton, IL divorce modification lawyer can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand your situation and will help guide you through the process as quickly and stress-free as possible. Find out how we can help by calling our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation.