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How To Modify A Post-Divorce Court Order?

The divorce process can be quite complicated. In some cases, decisions in a divorce may be made based on what is happening in the present without adequately accounting for certain future considerations. Fortunately, Illinois law recognizes that personal circumstances may change, requiring modifications of previously entered judgments. Post-divorce adjustments that address financial and custodial concerns can be made with the aid of an experienced family law attorney. If you are looking to make modifications to your divorce decree, there are essential considerations that must be taken into account. With the help of your attorney, you can advocate for modifications that reflect changes in your life while protecting your interests.

At Fawell & Fawell, we understand that life can change, and these changes may require modifications to orders put in place during your divorce. Our experience in this area of law ensures that you will be able to properly consider all issues in your case and make good arguments for why modifications should be made. We will work with you each step of the way to help you achieve your legal goals.

Modifying Child Custody

In Illinois, child custody arrangements can be modified in the years after a divorce if there has been a significant change in circumstances that impacts the child's best interests. A parent seeking a modification must file a petition with the court that states the reasons for their request and demonstrates why these changes would be in the best interest of the child. The court will consider several factors when determining whether a modification is appropriate, such as the child's wishes, the child's relationship with each parent, the parents' ability to cooperate with each other, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

If the court determines that a modification is necessary, it can make minor changes to the existing agreement, or an entirely new custody arrangement may be put in place. If necessary, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's best interests, investigate the situation, and make recommendations about what types of child custody arrangement may be appropriate. Because modifications to child custody could potentially disrupt the child's life, the court will want to make sure any changes put in place will ensure that parents will be able to provide for their children's ongoing needs and protect their safety, health, and well-being.

In general, if a divorce was finalized less than two years ago, or if less than two years have passed since modifications of the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court will not grant a modification unless it is necessary to prevent the child from suffering physical or emotional harm. However, modifications to parenting time can be made at any point, as long as a significant change has occurred or the parents agree on the modifications. While there may be multiple reasons for modifying child custody, these cases will often involve parental relocation requests.

Modifying Child Support

Child support modifications can be made when there has been a significant change in financial circumstances. This may include a large increase or decrease in income, the loss of a job, or health issues that have led to increased medical expenses for a parent or child. The court will consider various factors when determining whether a modification is appropriate, including the child's needs, the income and expenses of each parent, and the child's standard of living before and after the divorce. A parent will be required to pay the previously ordered amount of child support until a modification has been granted.

Modifying Spousal Support

Similar to child support modifications, spousal support may be modified based on a change in financial circumstances for either the paying or receiving spouse. For example, if the spouse paying spousal support loses their job, or if the receiving spouse gets a new job that allows them to support themselves without assistance, modifications may be made to the amount of spousal support payments, or spousal maintenance may even be terminated altogether.

Contact a DuPage County Post-Divorce Modifications Attorney

If you are looking to modify your divorce decree, it is important to understand the options that are available to you. At Fawell & Fawell, our qualified divorce lawyer has ample experience assisting individuals in cases involving modifications of child custody, child support, and spousal support. To learn how we can help you address these issues, call us at 630-871-2400 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation.

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