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What is a Post-Decree Modification?

 Posted on June 21, 2024 in Family Law

Lisle family law attorneyLife is unpredictable, and circumstances can change long after a divorce is finalized. When a substantial change in circumstances occurs, either party may seek a post-decree modification to adjust the terms of the original divorce decree. An Illinois lawyer can help explain what post-decree modifications entail and how they can help you adapt to new situations.

What Exactly is a Post-Decree Modification?

A post-decree modification is a legal process that allows divorced parties to request changes to the original divorce decree. These modifications can address issues such as child support, parenting time (formerly known as visitation), maintenance (formerly known as alimony), and other divorce settlement terms. Keep in mind that property division is generally not modifiable unless there was fraud or concealment of assets during the original proceedings.

When Can You Seek a Modification?

To request a post-decree modification in Illinois, you must demonstrate that a significant condition alteration has occurred since the original decree was entered. Some common examples include:

  • Significant changes in income: If either party experiences a substantial increase or decrease in income, it may warrant modifying child support or maintenance.

  • Parental relocation: The parenting time schedule may be modified if the primary residential parent wishes to move out of state or a significant distance away.

  • Changes in the child's needs: As children grow older, their needs may change, requiring adjustments to the parenting plan or support obligations.

  • Health issues or disability: If either party or their children face serious health problems or a disability that affects their ability to work or care for the children, a modification may be necessary.

The Modification Process

To begin the modification process, the party seeking the change must file a petition with the court that initially entered the divorce decree. The petition should outline the specific modifications requested and the reasons for the proposed changes. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the petition and may contest the proposed modifications.

If the parties cannot agree on the proposed changes, the court will hold a hearing to consider evidence and arguments from both sides. The court will then decide whether to grant the modification based on the children's best interests (if applicable) and the parties' circumstances.

Temporary vs. Permanent Modifications

In some cases, a temporary modification may be appropriate when the change in circumstances is expected to be short-term. For example, if one party is temporarily unemployed or facing a medical emergency, a temporary modification of support obligations may be granted until the situation stabilizes.

On the other hand, permanent modifications are suitable when the change in circumstances is anticipated to be long-term or indefinite. These modifications will remain in effect until further court order or the parties agree to additional changes.

Contact a Lisle, IL Family Law Attorney

Post-decree modifications provide a legal option for divorced individuals to adapt to changing life circumstances. Working with a knowledgeable DuPage County, IL family law lawyer is helpful as you make your way through your case. Call SpyratosDavis LLC at 630-810-8881 for a private consultation to see how and if we can help you with a strategic strategy.

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