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Wheaton, IL Post-Divorce Modification Lawyer

Warrenville modification and enforcement lawyer

Attorney for Modifying and Enforcing Child Custody and Support Orders in DuPage County

During your divorce or the initial determination of child custody, you may have taken great care to ensure that the terms of the resolution were in the best interests of both you and your children. However, you may find that as your situation changes after your divorce, the terms of the original decree are no longer feasible or desirable. Alternatively, you may find that your former spouse or your child's other parent is not following the terms of the decree.

It is not unusual to find that you need assistance with a family law matter related to an issue that you believed to be settled. Fortunately, Attorney Jessica Sendek is available to help in such a situation. She can work with you to pursue a post-decree modification or enforcement to ensure that your family's changing needs continue to be met.

Which Divorce Decree Terms Can Be Modified?

The terms of a divorce decree, or an order related to child support or child custody, are heavily influenced by the circumstances of the parents and children at the time the decree is issued. It is not always possible for a decree to account for all of the ways in which the parties lives may change in the ensuing months and years, and for this reason, Illinois law allows for modifications to decrees regarding the following issues:

  • Child support - The amount of a parent's child support obligation can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Often, this means a change in a parent's income, including a decrease due to job loss or an increase due to a promotion or a new career opportunity. Child support obligations can also be modified if there is a substantial change in a child's needs.
  • Spousal support - Maintenance payments can be modified due to a substantial change in circumstances for either the paying or receiving spouse, depending upon the terms of your Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Examples include changes in a spouse's income, employment, or earning capacity. Spousal support can also terminate before its intended duration if the receiving spouse remarries or moves in with a new partner, or if either spouse dies.
  • Parenting time - A parenting time schedule can be modified at any point after it is established if the parents agree to the changes and they are in the best interest of the children, or if there has been a change in circumstances like a parent's relocation or a change to the routine of the children or a parent.
  • Parental decision-making responsibilities - The allocation of significant parental decision-making authority typically cannot be altered for the first two years after it is established unless a change is necessary to protect a child from harm or danger. After two years, modifications are possible upon the parents' agreement or a significant change in circumstances.

The process of pursuing a modification is often smoother if both parties are in agreement regarding the change, as they can simply file the proposed modifications with the court for approval. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, the party seeking modification will need to petition the court and demonstrate that there is good reason to change the initial order. Once approved, modifications can sometimes be retroactive to the date the petition is filed, but until a request is approved, it is important to follow the terms of the original decree.

Enforcing the Terms of a Decree

If you are facing a situation in which the other parent is failing or refusing to follow a child support or parenting time order, it is important to take fast action to address the issue. You can do so by filing a petition for enforcement with the court and serving notice to the other parent. If the other parent fails to rectify the situation, they can face a variety of serious consequences, including:

  • Charges of contempt of court, resulting in probation, fines, and imprisonment
  • Wage garnishment or an order to make all delinquent support payments with interest
  • An order to pay the petitioning parent's attorney fees and court costs
  • Driver's license suspension
  • Criminal charges under the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act
  • An order of make-up parenting time for the petitioning parent
  • Restrictions or conditions on future parenting time

Contact a DuPage County Post-Decree Enforcement Attorney

For a free consultation regarding your post-decree modification or enforcement proceeding, contact us today at 630-358-9029. We represent clients in Wheaton, Warrenville, Naperville, Lombard, Winfield, West Chicago, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, and throughout DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and Cook County.

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