location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Cook County Divorce Order Modification Attorney

Mount Prospect divorce decree modification attorney

Lawyer for Modifying Child Support, Spousal Maintenance, and Parenting Plans in Chicago, IL

In order to legally dissolve their marriage in Illinois, a couple must resolve a number of important issues related to their property, finances, and children. In most cases, a divorce resolution can be achieved through a negotiated settlement, though in some contested divorce cases the court must intervene to decide the terms of the divorce order. A divorce decree established under either of these circumstances becomes legally binding, and both spouses can face consequences for violating its terms. However, there are circumstances in which a divorce order can be legally modified.

If you find that the terms of your divorce decree need updating in the months and years after the end of your marriage, an attorney can help you petition the court for a modification. At The Law Office of George J. Skuros, we provide a wide range of family law services both during and after the divorce process. With more than 30 years of legal experience, we can help you ensure that your divorce order continues to meet your needs well into the future.

Modifying the Terms of Your Illinois Divorce Decree

A divorce order is established at a specific moment in time, and though it may sufficiently meet both parties' needs at the time it is established, you may find it to be unsatisfactory as time goes on and your life changes. Illinois law allows both spouses to petition for the modification of most elements of a divorce decree, depending on the circumstances.

Attorney George Skuros helps with divorce order modifications related to all of the following issues:

  • Child support - Illinois child support orders use an income shares model to determine the amount of each parent's obligation. A substantial change in circumstances, such as a change to either parent's income due to a pay raise or promotion, job loss, or disability, could be grounds for modifying the order. A child support order may also be modified due to a substantial change in a child's needs. In addition to the amount owed, a modification could adjust the manner in which payments are made.
  • Spousal maintenance - Spousal support or alimony can also be modified after a substantial change in circumstances. Often, this involves a change in the income or earning capacity of one of the spouses, but a change in the receiving spouse's needs could also constitute a substantial change of circumstances. Maintenance modifications can address both the amount and duration of ordered payments.
  • Parenting time - Minor and significant modifications to a parenting time schedule may be granted upon the agreement of the parents or the demonstration of a substantial change in circumstances, such as a change in work or school schedules, a parent's relocation, a change in a child's needs, or evidence of a parent's endangerment of a child. Any parenting time modifications must be in the child's best interests.
  • Allocation of parental responsibilities - For the first two years after an order allocating parental responsibilities is established, the agreement regarding significant decision-making responsibilities cannot be modified unless there is evidence of a child's endangerment. After two years, these provisions can be modified either upon a change in circumstances or the parents' agreement.

It may be possible for you and your former spouse to negotiate the terms of a modification and jointly file a petition with the court. If you are unable to reach an agreement, we can help you file your own petition for modification and support your case for a substantial change in circumstances that necessitates a change. The court may order that you and your former spouse attend mediation or appear for a court hearing, and we can help you prepare for either situation.

Keep in mind that if a modification is granted by the court, its terms may apply starting on the date when notice of a petition was served to the other party. In the case of child or spousal support, this means that the paying party could be reimbursed for payments made after that date. However, you should always continue to follow the original order until a modification is approved, as failing to do so can give your former spouse grounds to file a petition for enforcement, and you may face charges of contempt of court.

Contact an Illinois Post-Divorce Modification Lawyer Today

We can advise you on reasonable modification terms that protect your interests, work with you to draft a petition, and take the necessary steps to have your requested changes approved. Contact us today at 312-884-1222 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, including Schaumburg, Inverness, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Park Ridge, the North Shore, and the surrounding areas.

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