DuPage County Divorce AttorneyMost divorced couples never want to see the inside of an Illinois courtroom again. But life changes over time, and the circumstances that necessitated certain arrangements in a divorce decree may no longer apply. If you are divorced and have recently experienced a significant change in your circumstances, you may want to petition an Illinois court for a divorce decree modification. Modifications are only approved in specific circumstances; for more information about whether you may be able to request a modification, read on. 

When Can a Divorce Decree Be Modified in DuPage County? 

A divorce decree usually permanently settles all the issues in a divorce. Property division, child custody arrangements, and spousal support are all described in detail in a divorce decree and courts will not usually modify the terms unless certain requirements are met. 

Immediately following a divorce, a decree may only be modified if a spouse believes the divorce court committed an error of fact-finding or applying the law. A spouse may not petition an appellate court for a review simply because they believe the divorce decree to be unfair. But if one spouse lied about income or failed to disclose marital assets, an appeal can be filed in the appropriate appellate court for up to 30 days following the divorce. Absent an error by the divorce court, divorce decrees may only be modified when an individual has experienced a substantial change in circumstances. 

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DuPage County Family Law AttorneyParents of young children often have bitter or hostile feelings towards each other after divorce. Although Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning parents can get divorced for any reason, anger over issues like infidelity, emotional unavailability, abuse, or neglect can often linger long after the divorce proceedings have ended. If you fear that bitterness over the divorce is causing your ex to interfere in your relationship with your child, an experienced Illinois family lawyer may be able to help. 

What is Parental Alienation? 

One way some parents deal with their negative emotions towards each other is by trying to get revenge through certain behaviors with their children. Some parents may not even do this on purpose; they may simply be so angry towards their ex that it comes out in every aspect of their lives. Regardless of the reason, children can suffer tremendously when one parent tries to alienate them from their other parent. When this reaches the point that a parent is trying to interfere with a parenting agreement or causing serious disruption to the parent-child relationship, it may be time to take action. 

Although there is some controversy about what, exactly, parental alienation entails and whether there should be an official term for it, there is no question that malicious behavior from one parent towards the other can negatively affect that parent’s relationship with a child. Alienating behaviors can come in many forms, but some of the most common include: 

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DuPage County Family Law AttorneyDivorce is notorious for being difficult to afford, yet people on tight budgets finalize their Illinois divorces every day. While the services of a great attorney are rarely free, there is no reason that financial restraints should force anyone to stay in a terrible relationship. If you are considering divorce in Illinois and are wondering if you can afford it, here are five tips for making divorce more affordable. 

Use a Mediator

One of the things that can make divorce more expensive is a long, drawn-out negotiation period. When spouses cannot agree on important issues like parenting time and asset division, a trained mediator can help them meet, prioritize, and stay focused on problem-solving without letting personal issues get in the way. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, paying for a mediator early in your divorce can help you save a lot of money in the long run. 

Ask Your Spouse for Interim Spousal Maintenance

While your divorce is ongoing, you may be able to successfully petition the court for financial support during the divorce. Illinois judges will often grant interim spousal maintenance so stay-at-home parents without an income can still afford to get divorced. You may also be able to request that your spouse pay for your attorney fees, but you will have to prove that you cannot afford an attorney yourself and there is no guarantee that your request will be approved. 

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerNobody gets married planning to get divorced, yet the statistics on how many marriages ultimately end are widely known. The truth is, even with the best of hopes, people grow apart, life throws unexpected curveballs at all of us, and the things we want can change over time. 

Married couples tend to go through similar life stages, and certain major changes frequently trigger divorce. Difficulty adjusting to a new reality, a shift in perspective, or a realization that a couple no longer shares priorities or common goals can all put enormous stress on a marriage. Here are five significant life events that may lead to or contribute to divorce. 

Childbirth 

While most first-time parents look forward to the birth of their first child, infants bring with them many new stressors and a serious lack of sleep. As a result, relationship satisfaction tends to plummet with very young children. A couple’s difficulties tend to become exacerbated rather than healed. Sometimes, this can lead to a permanent breakdown in the relationship. 

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DuPage County Family Law AttorneyMany divorcing parents find the prospect of splitting time with their children to be frustrating and difficult. Oftentimes, parents get a divorce in the first place because they differ so significantly on how they believe children should be raised. Even with the best intentions, sharing parenting time and parental responsibilities is a daunting task. 

When parents first begin the divorce process, they will likely encounter some terms that are unique to them - especially because Illinois no longer uses the term “custody,” but rather “parenting time” (formerly visitation) and “parental responsibilities” (formerly custody). While parenting time is fairly straightforward, the term parental responsibilities means significant decision-making responsibilities; but what exactly are those? To find out, read on. 

What are Significant Decisions? 

Illinois law defines “significant decisions” as those related to issues involving long-term importance to the life of the child. Although these can change slightly depending on the circumstances, the most common of these issues are: 

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