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How Can a Finalized Divorce Decree Be Modified in Illinois?

on in Order Modification

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.

Motion for Modification

If a former couple agrees to modify terms of the original decree, they should do so in writing submit it to the court. Sometimes a hearing is required to ensure that both parties consent to the new terms of the agreement. Once the court is satisfied, the agreement is signed off on by the judge and becomes a legally-binding court order. If one spouse wishes to change the terms of the divorce agreement, but the other does not, a motion for modification must be filed. The two former spouses will need to attend a hearing. The spouse asking for a modification must have evidence to show that the change in circumstances warrants the modification. In matters related to parental responsibilities and parenting time, the person seeking a modification will also need evidence to prove that the change will be in the children’s best interest.

Do You Wish to Modify Your Divorce Agreement?

The experienced Kane County divorce modification attorneys at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. have the knowledge and legal skills to help you file a petition for modification that fits your unique needs. We serve clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, the Fox Valley area, and across the State of Illinois. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at (630) 377-7770.


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