Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd.
Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation
View Our Practice Areas

Is a finalized divorce agreement really final?

You went through the divorce process in Illinois. When all was said and done, you were happy with how it worked out and were just ready to move on. Well, months or years down the line you have realized that your divorce agreement really is not working for you. Is there anything you can do about it? Is your final agreement really final?

Thankfully, you may be able to get your divorce agreement changed. Post-decree modifications are possible if the circumstances are just right.

How to get a post-decree modification

It is not uncommon for some parents to feel that their child support or custody schedules are unfair or not working. Moreover, it is common for a spouse who is receiving or paying alimony to question how much the court ordered. One spouse may feel as though the terms of a property division settlement were less than ideal. No matter the issue, it may be possible to renegotiate the terms of divorce.

Anyone seeking a post-decree modification can go about it in one of two ways. The former spouses can try to negotiate new terms privately or one can file a motion for term modification in court. If you handle the matter without going to court, the revised terms will still need court approval before coming active.

If the issue goes to court…

If the issue goes to court because you and your ex cannot agree to new terms, a judge will look at a number of factors before issuing a new court order or denying your request. Generally, a substantial change of circumstances is needed for a judge to consider modifying spousal support, child support or custody orders. For support-related issues, acceptable reasons to adjust an order include:

  • Paying spouse experienced a change in income
  • Receiving spouse experienced a change in income
  • A child's needs have changed

For a judge to approve a custody modification request, the court will need proof that:

  • There is a need
  • It serves the child's best interests

For any other post-decree modification requests, such as those regarding property division, the party with the complaint will need to have a good reason for making the request. You can discuss this issue with legal counsel before filing a motion for modification in court.

Not easy but possible

Post-decree modifications are not easy to come by, but they are possible. A finalized divorce agreement is not necessarily final; it simply sets terms for the moment. The courts understand that some aspects of it need to be open to change.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • The Chicago Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association | 1912
  • 10 Best | 2015 - 2019 | Attorney Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • DBR | Chamber of Commerce | Deerfield | Bannockburn | Riverwoods

Tell Us About Your Experience

Review Us
Email Our Attorneys

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Wheeling Office
395 East Dundee Road, Suite 200
Wheeling, IL 60090

Phone: 847-459-4448
Fax: 847-459-8548
Map & Directions

Libertyville Office
611 S. Milwaukee Avenue, Suite 4
Libertyville, IL 60048

Phone: 847-281-0200
Map & Directions

Buffalo Grove Office
355 W Dundee Rd
Suite 100
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Phone: 847-459-4448
Map & Directions