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Posted on in Order Modification

modifying, Kane County divorce lawyerWhen your divorce has been finalized and the divorce decree has been entered by the court, it becomes a binding order, enforceable under the law. However, you should know that even if your divorce is finalized, you are allowed to file a petition to modify, or amend the decree. Before filing a petition to modify your divorce decree, make sure that you are within the bounds of when a divorce can be modified. There are certain circumstances which make a person eligible for a divorce decree modification. One cannot seek a modification just because they did not like the decisions made by the judge presiding over their divorce.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

A person can file for a divorce decree modification if the circumstances of the family, including income or employment, change dramatically. Unless both parties agree to consider a change or there is a serious danger to the child, Illinois residents are not permitted to modify their parental responsibilities arrangements (not including parenting time concerns) until two years after the original decree or most recent approved modification. Illinois courts make their decisions regarding parental responsibilities based on what is in the best interest for the child. Having a two-year waiting period allows the child to settle into their new role as a child of divorce. Parenting time considerations may be modified at any time upon a showing of change in circumstances.

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modification, St. Charles family law attorneysThe purpose of divorce is to separate two peoples’ lives that have been intertwined through marriage. When two people get married, they not only combine their personal lives but also their financial lives. In order to divide them again during a divorce, a judge will decide what is a reasonable amount of marital property, spousal support, and/or child support to assign each spouse. These decisions are made based on several factors such as each spouse’s income, their contributions during the marriage, and their respective parental responsibilities. But, what happens if these factors change after the divorce is finalized? In a case like this, a divorced individual may need to seek a divorce decree modification.

Verbal Agreements Are Not Enforceable

Circumstances which would necessitate a divorce modification include substantial changes in income, illnesses, relocation, or remarriage. Generally, courts do not make changes to the original property or debt division, but modifications of spousal support or alimony, child support, and parenting time, are more common. Couples who wish to modify the terms of their divorce agreements by way of a verbal agreement should be ward that such verbal agreements are not enforceable by the court. Modifications must be in writing and approved by the court to be effective.

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Posted on in Order Modification

gavel book law scalesPeople’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.

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