DuPage County Post-Decree Divorce Attorneys

Kane County divorce modification and enforcement attorney

Lawyers for Divorce Order Enforcement and Modification in Wheaton, Winfield, and Carol Stream

At the completion of the divorce process, a divorce decree or judgment will be issued and signed by the judge, and this is a legally-binding court order that both parties will be required to follow, even if the judgment was based upon a settlement agreement. While this order is meant to be final in many respects, situations may arise in the years to come in which either party may request that modifications be made, or one party may need to take action to enforce the court's orders. In these cases, ex-spouses should work with a family law attorney to address these matters properly.

The lawyers of McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. provide our clients with high-quality representation in post-decree cases. We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and we can help you understand how the laws apply in your situation. Whether you have experienced changes in your life that affect your divorce decree, or you need to make sure court orders are followed correctly, we can advocate on your behalf and help you reach your desired outcomes.

Post-Divorce Modifications

While orders related to the division of marital assets and debts generally cannot be changed after a divorce has been finalized, certain other terms of a divorce decree can be modified, including those related to child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. When requesting a modification, a person must typically show that one or both parties or their children have experienced a "substantial change in circumstances" that would require changes to be made. 

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/610.5), the allocation of parental responsibilities cannot be modified within two years after a divorce or child custody order was issued, unless these changes would be necessary to protect a child's physical or emotional health. Modifications to parenting time can be made at any time if circumstances have changed, as long as these modifications are in the child's best interests, and it is the burden of the party seeking a modification to show that. Reasons for why parental responsibilities or parenting time may be modified may include changes in parents' or children's schedules, a relocation by a parent, or domestic violence or other safety concerns that necessitate restrictions on a parent's parental rights.

Ex-spouses may request modifications to their financial support obligations based on changes in either party's circumstances. For example, a parent who pays child support may ask for payments to be reduced due to the loss of a job, or an ex-spouse may ask for spousal support obligations to be terminated because their former partner has become self-supporting. The IMDMA (750 ILCS 5/510) states that when deciding whether to grant modifications to maintenance or child support, a court may consider whether changes to either party's employment status were made in good faith.

Both child support and maintenance laws have changed drastically over the course of the last few years, so it is imperative that you review your support obligation with an experienced attorney.

Enforcement of Divorce Orders

Another issue that spouses may need to address following a divorce is the failure of one party to abide by the court's orders. For instance, a parent may refuse to pick up or drop off children at the times or places specified in the parties' parenting plan, or an ex-spouse may not make court-ordered child support or spousal maintenance payments on time or in full. When an ex-spouse has violated a divorce order, the other spouse may take ask the court to enforce these orders.

Violations of orders related to parental responsibilities or parenting time could result in a reallocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time in favor of the other parent, or in unique situations, restrictions may be placed on a parent's parenting time. If a person fails to pay support as ordered, including expense reimbursements, a variety of methods may be used to recover the payments that are owed, as well as interest on past-due payments. These may include garnishing a person's wages, seizing assets, or placing liens on property. A person could also be held in contempt for violating the court's orders, and they may face a variety of penalties, including fines, driver's license suspension, or even a prison sentence. With contempt, attorneys fees may also be recoverable.

Contact Our Glen Ellyn Post-Divorce Modification Lawyers

The attorneys of McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. can help you understand your legal options for making changes to your divorce decree or enforcing the court's orders. Contact our office at 630-407-1200 to schedule your free consultation today. We assist with post-decree issues in DuPage County, Kendall County, Cook County, Kane County, and Will County, including Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Winfield, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Naperville, and Warrenville.

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