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Can I Modify My Divorce Decree?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County family law attorneyAfter your divorce was finalized, you probably felt a huge amount of relief. The road to a final divorce decree can be long and difficult. The terms of your divorce seemed fair at the time, but now things have changed. It could be that your children’s needs are different, or that your ability to provide for them has changed. People’s personal situations can change drastically after a divorce, making the terms in the divorce order no longer fair or reasonable.

In certain situations, it may be possible to modify an existing divorce decree to reflect a change in circumstances. However, seeking a modification to a divorce decree can be complicated. You will need to work with an attorney who understands the grounds for modification and the process of seeking one.

When Can I Get a Divorce Modification?

Courts are often reluctant to modify an existing divorce decree. Once a divorce is finalized, you will need to prove that you have a very good reason to change the terms. Generally, this means that you will need to show the court that you have experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.” This requirement is likely to be met in situations like:

  • Job loss or change - If you lost a job and are not able to find a comparable position, this may be considered a substantial change. Becoming unemployed or having to take a job that pays much less can render an old child support agreement no longer workable.
  • Cohabitation or marriage - If one of you begins cohabiting with or marries a new romantic partner, it can change that party’s circumstances.
  • Relocation - If one of you is moving out of Illinois, this can be grounds for a modification. A modification may be absolutely necessary if you still have minor children in common.
  • Child’s needs - If the modification you are seeking involves a change in your parenting time schedule, this can be done if it is in the child’s best interest. If your child’s needs have changed, the court may be more likely to grant this modification.
  • Parent’s status - If one parent has had a significant change in mental health or a substance abuse issue, the court may accept a request for a modification. Note that if your former spouse’s mental illness or addiction is endangering your children, you may be able to obtain an emergency order to keep them safe with you.

These are just common examples of what the court will consider a substantial change in circumstances. You will need to speak with an attorney to determine whether your situation may qualify you to obtain a modification.

Consult a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are interested in pursuing a divorce modification, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our skilled Lombard divorce lawyers will assess your case and fight for you to get the modification you need. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

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