June 22,2021

Divorce, Family Law, Modifications, Spousal maintenance

Goodman Law Firm

What to Consider When Modifying Your Divorce Decree

HomeBlogDivorceWhat to Consider When Modifying Your Divorce Decree

Many divorcing couples are relieved to learn that the divorce decree can be modified at a later date. However, this doesn’t mean that they should go into their divorce proceedings with a lackadaisical attitude or consider their divorce orders to be only temporary. Changing these orders is a process, and it’s not something that family courts are obligated to allow. Modifications to the divorce decree usually involve parental allocation (parental responsibilities), spousal support (alimony), or child support. However, some might include other factors. The court doesn’t just change their orders based on the feelings or needs of a parent. It only changes them if the circumstances warrant them to.

Has there Been a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

Before petitioning the court for a modification, it’s critical to evaluate if you have a good reason to do so. One benefit of having hired an experienced Illinois divorce attorney is to help you make this determination. At the Goodman Law Firm, our team is well-versed in what the court will find as an acceptable reason to modify orders and what it will not. 

If your circumstances don’t give rise to a reason to petition the court, we can discuss your other options. However, suppose you do have a valid reason or a “substantial change in circumstances” to petition the court to modify your divorce decree. In that case, we can help ensure the process goes smoothly and successfully for you and your family. 

Circumstances that the court might accept to consider a modification include:

  • The loss or gain of employment for either spouse
  • A sudden change in either party’s finances
  • The relocation of the parties or children
  • A death
  • Changes in the child’s desires

Keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list. Whether a divorce decree modification should be granted will depend on the facts of each individual case. Discussing these facts with your Illinois divorce lawyer will help you understand if you have a reason to seek a modification and your chances of receiving one. 

Have You Tried Resolving the New Issue with Your Ex-Spouse?

Sometimes, your first step should be to talk to your ex-spouse about your change in circumstances and needs. If you have an amicable relationship, it can be worth talking to them about what changes you might need. They might be willing to accommodate those changes. If so, you can both submit your changes to have them approved by the court. The process is simpler, less expensive, and time-consuming than going before a judge and asking them to settle your differences. Being able to work out a new arrangement is looked upon favorably by the family court system. Your attorney can also help you with negotiations during this process.

Do You Need to Modify Your Divorce Decree? Get Help from an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney

With over two decades of experience, our Evanston divorce lawyer and staff know how stressful divorce modifications can be. Often you are facing changes in your personal life that are stressful enough on their own, not to mention how they will impact one or more areas of your divorce. Maybe you lost your job or had to take a pay cut. Perhaps you need to move due to being unable to afford increased rent payments. Whatever your circumstances, you need quality legal representation to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation case review.


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