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Making modifications after the divorce is final

Couples in Illinois who are going through a divorce often take great care to draw up terms that best serve both parties and any children involved. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., we understand that a family dynamic can change following a divorce, prompting a need for modification to certain aspects of the agreement.

Fortunately, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows for changes such as alimony, child custody and child support modification. These items are subject to amendment based on a substantial change of circumstances, such as the following: 

  •        When one party remarries, spousal support may be cancelled.
  •        If someone who pays child support starts making substantially more money, the payments may increase, pending that the needs of the children have also increased.
  •        Someone who loses a job may seek to have support payments reduced.

In most circumstances, just about any part of the agreement may be amended as long as both parties agree to the change. When it comes to alimony, Illinois law does allow for a couple to determine in the divorce judgment that the terms are non-modifiable. Further, modifying property division after the judgment is final can prove to be difficult, as both parties have to agree or otherwise obtain a court order.

It may behoove a couple to leave some topics open-ended in the divorce agreement. For example, a couple who separates when children are young may want to put decisions about college tuition on hold until a later date. This enables them to revisit the matter and make decisions based on each party’s financial situation at a more relevant time.

For more information on these post-decree matters, please see our page on modifying the terms of a divorce

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