kane county divorce lawyerMany people want to believe that after they go through the long process of seeking and finalizing a divorce they can just put everything behind them and never think about any agreement again. However, many agreements may need to be revisited. 

Terms of a divorce decree cannot be changed individually by either spouse, so a party will have to seek a modification through the court when they need some kind of major corrective change made to their original divorce decree. You may be able to simplify your case by working in agreement with your former spouse for any modification.

How Modifications Work

Modifications most commonly relate to child custody, parental responsibilities, child support, spousal support, and property division. You have two ways to seek modifications:

Geneva parental responsibilities attorneyPeople move around much more often they once did. As transportation and communication continue to improve over time, it opens up a new host of questions for families, especially divorced families with children. There are rules about how and when you may take your children out of state, especially if your child is a minor. Lest you run afoul of the law, it is absolutely imperative to understand what the rules are in these cases, especially regarding questions of parental responsibilities.

Decision-Making Authority

Many people assume that if they been given sole authority to make all major decisions about their child’s welfare, they do not need to seek the other parent’s approval when planning a move. This, however, is not the case. In almost every situation, your child’s other parent has the right to object to your intended move out of state or beyond a certain distance within Illinois if he or she believes it is not in the best interest of your children. The court has the final say, of course, and can refuse to grant permission to move with your child if it finds that the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health will be compromised by the move.

If both parents share roughly equal time with the child or children, the non-moving parent will have more say in whether or not the relocation should be permitted than if he or she has little time with the child. A common compromise is for the non-moving parent to agree to the move and receive longer blocks of parenting time in return.

Reasons for Strict Regulations on Child Removal

good faith, order modifications, Geneva family law attorneyWhen a couple gets divorced, it is not uncommon for the pair to remain financially connected in some way for a period of time—sometimes a significant period—following the end of the marriage. For some, the connection may be in the form of agreed-upon or ordered spousal maintenance. For divorced parents, an order requiring the parent with less parenting time to make child support payments is highly probable. In certain cases, both spousal maintenance and child support orders may be needed. Over time, these financial obligations may need to be revisited as a situations and family needs continue to change. Of course, economic resources are a major factor in proceedings to modify an existing order. There is, however, another important consideration; a party is expected, at all times, to make good faith efforts toward meeting his or financial obligations.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that an order for spousal maintenance or child support can be modified “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.” This means that something major has developed in the family’s situation that needs to be addressed. Common examples of a substantial change in circumstances include a dramatic increase in the child’s or recipient spouse’s needs, a significant change in the payor party’s income, job loss, injury, or illness.

order modification, illinois law, geneva family law attorneyOften, even after a final order from a family law court, the case is not over. As circumstances change, the order of the court may no longer make any sense. Sometimes you need to go back to court and ask for a modification of the original order. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the modification process is not a chance to appeal because you did not like the first decision.

What Can Be Modified in the Order?

Many aspects of a family law order can be modified if there is a change in circumstances. Things like custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance payments can be modified. Courts will not usually modify a property division order. The only way to get a property order modified is to demonstrate that the other side hid assets or was dishonest, and even then the sometimes the court will refuse to allow a modification.

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