People’s lives do not remain static after a divorce. Individuals may move, remarry, have children, or experience any number of other major events that bring significant life changes. If this happens, it may be necessary to make a modification to your divorce judgment, because what once was acceptable may one day be too expensive, or it may be inequitable in terms of cost or time spent. Still, a modification cannot be made on a whim; there are requirements regarding what must be shown 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 its necessity. Most of the time, changes are requested due to alterations in living conditions, such as the loss of a job. Generally, however, the most common type of change requested is a child support modification, as the needs of children and the ability of parents to pay are constantly evolving. Maintenance orders may also be modified, as each spouse’s financial situation is likely to change over time.
To have a modification granted, the petitioner 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, a party, in theory, could just appear in court and demand a change without justification.
Common Reasons for Modification Requests
There are many different reasons why people ask for modifications, but changes in income levels are among the most common, as well as the easiest to substantiate. For example, if someone loses a job, it is reasonably easy to show his or her reduced income. Based on the evidence presented, the court could order a recalculation of maintenance or child support orders.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
Most people seek modification of their divorce decree because their own life has changed substantially. If you are in this position, it can help to have a knowledgeable modification attorney on your side. The dedicated Kane County family lawyers at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. are experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate, and we are happy to work with you to ensure your divorce decree is truly equitable. Call 630-377-7770 today to set up a free consultation.