Chicagoland Area Post-Divorce Modification Attorney
When a divorce is finalized, the divorce decree or judgment of dissolution of marriage will specify the exact terms agreed upon or made by a court regarding issues such as property division, allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance. This decree is considered the law of the case and is final. It is meant to remain in place permanently; however, people’s circumstances often change, requiring explanations for non-compliance or the need to modify the divorce decree to conform to the changed circumstance.
At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in family law, and we can help you understand your legal requirements and advocate for your best interests when you are petitioning to modify your divorce judgment. If your ex-spouse is not meeting their court-ordered requirements, we can help you understand your legal options for enforcement.
Divorce Decree Modifications
Common reasons for requesting a modification of a divorce decree include:
- One party has experienced a significant increase or decrease in the income they earn.
- Children’s essential needs, including healthcare or education, have changed.
- A parent wishes to relocate to a new home and community with their child.
- A parent wishes to make changes to the allocation of parental responsibility or the allocation of parenting time.
- One party plans to remarry, or a party is involved in a significant relationship with another person.
A parent who wishes to modify the amount of child support paid or received must demonstrate that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” warranting the modification. A modification of child support can be requested if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred in the income or needs of either party or a child since the last child support order was entered or last modified.
Modifying Spousal Maintenance Agreements
An ex-spouse who wishes to modify the amount of spousal maintenance paid or received must also show that there has been a substantial change in the income and/or needs of either party. Illinois law provides several factors that a court should consider when determining whether a modification of maintenance is appropriate. These factors include:
- Changes to either party’s employment status or the amount of income they earn, including whether these changes were made in good faith.
- Whether the party receiving maintenance has made reasonable efforts to become financially self-supporting.
- Any impairments to either party’s earning capacity.
- Property which was awarded to each party during the divorce or which was acquired by each party after the divorce.
- The tax consequences of maintenance payments for each party.
- The duration of past and future maintenance payments relative to the length of the marriage.
Divorce Order Enforcement In Illinois
A divorce decree is a legally binding court order, and both parties are required to comply with and abide by its terms. Unfortunately, ex-spouses occasionally violate these terms by not timely paying child support or spousal maintenance in full, refusal to relinquish property to the other spouse, or failing to meet their obligations regarding parental responsibility and parenting time. An ex-spouse who does not comply with the terms of their divorce decree may be the subject of a contempt of court proceeding, which can result in non-compliance with the ordered terms of the divorce or, if the non-compliance is intentional, a fine or jail time.
Contact The Experienced Lawyers At Botti Marinaccio, LTD.
If you need to modify your divorce order to meet your changing circumstances, or if you need help making sure your ex-spouse meets their court-ordered obligations, the attorneys of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. can help you understand your legal options and advocate for your interests in court. The law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. solves problems through successful negotiations or, if necessary, at trial through a judge’s decision. Contact our office by filling out our online contact form or calling 630-934-2192.