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What Can I Modify in My Illinois Divorce Agreement?

Posted on in Divorce

Joliet Courthouse divorce attorney child support order

Divorce agreements are made with the intention that they will last forever. While this may be the case for those who get divorced and do not have any children or alimony requirements, divorce agreements rarely last the test of time. When children or monthly support payments are involved, things never remain the same over time. Luckily, the Illinois court system addresses this possibility within their divorce legislation. In order for modifications to be made to your agreement, you must meet the criteria outlined below.

Spousal Maintenance

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to even the financial divide between both spouses and provide the lower-earning spouse with financial assistance. The terms of these payments vary for each divorce agreement. Some may be expected to provide this support indefinitely while others have a specified timeline. Divorced couples always have the ability to revisit their agreement, especially if they feel that the spousal maintenance requirements are unnecessary or unfair. 

When asking for an adjustment, the court will consider a number of factors, including the following:

  • Any changes in employment status for either party

  • The effort of the receiving party to become self-sufficient

  • Any restrictions of the present and future earning abilities of either party

  • The duration of the maintenance payments in comparison to the length of the marriage

  • The marital status of the receiving party

Parenting Plan

When the parenting plan is created, it is done in the child’s best interest. If this is no longer the case, the court will reconsider the current plan and make any necessary adjustments. A parenting plan may not be modified until two years after its creation unless the child is mentally, emotionally, or physically in danger as a result of the plan. The child’s best interests will remain at the forefront of the adjustment process, although a few other factors will also be considered. These include a change in the parents’ schedules, a change in the parents’ living arrangements and/or location, and the desires of the child based on his or her age.

Child Support

As children get older, their needs change significantly, including costs to raise them. They may get involved in more extracurricular activities, the costs of food and clothes will increase, and their education may cost more money depending on where they attend school. Because these costs can fluctuate throughout childhood, child support payments can also be adjusted. Three years must pass before the court will reevaluate an existing child support order. Once this time has passed, there are three reasons accepted by the court for this modification request:

  1. There has been a substantial change in the non-custodial parent’s income.

  2. The order in place does not address healthcare coverage for the child.

  3. A written request is made by the custodial parent, non-custodial parent, healthcare and family services, or another state.

Contact a Will County Divorce Lawyer

As you can see, the court limits what can be changed in your divorce agreement and how these changes can be done. These regulations are in place to keep contentious couples from constantly revisiting their agreement and spending time in court. However, not all modification requests come from a place of hostility, even if the terms do need to be approved by the Illinois court system. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., we help divorcing couples create their initial agreement and modify it whenever necessary. Our experienced family lawyers support our clients in every way possible, whether that is fighting against a modification request or submitting one. For help, contact our Plainfield divorce modifications attorneys at 630-416-7004 to schedule your free consultation.




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