Post-Decree Modification And Enforcement

Post-Divorce Decree Modification And Enforcement

When divorce decrees are entered in the Illinois court system, they are considered to be final and binding. However, certain portions of the judgment, such as support, maintenance, and allocation of parental responsibilities, can be modified if certain circumstances arise subsequent to entry of the judgment. The party seeking modification must establish a “substantial change in circumstance” since entry of the judgment that requires a modification. The knowledgeable attorneys at Caesar & Bender, LLP, can help you make modifications to your agreement or judgment, as well as ensure that the agreement or judgment is being followed by the other party. We can help you understand the circumstances that may warrant a modification of a divorce decree or custody judgment in Illinois.

Child Custody And Location

When an initial child custody determination is made by the court, it is based on the “best interest” of the child. However, to change a child custody determination, the court must determine that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the initial custody determination and modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the children.

Under Illinois statute, a parent who is allocated the majority of parenting time or either parent who is allocated equal parenting time can request to relocate with a child. If the children’s current primary residence is located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will counties, relocation is defined as a residence that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence. If the child’s primary residence is located in any other county in Illinois, relocation is defined as a residence that is more than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence if within Illinois or 25 miles if outside Illinois. If a parent seeks “relocation” they must either obtain written approval from the other parent or an order from the court.  

There are different circumstances that may arise requiring a parent to relocate permanently or temporarily. Examples include, but are not limited to, change in employment, re-marriage, or even an unexpected death in the family. A parent may need to relocate in order to obtain new employment or to relocate in order to keep their current job. It may be necessary for a parent to relocate temporarily in order to care for a sick loved one or make funeral arrangements. Though parents can often reach an agreement in these situations, it is important to note that both parties are still obligated to comply with the divorce judgment. As such, it is best to seek experienced legal counsel to modify your divorce agreement and guard against any unexpected action by the other parent.

The Illinois court system is always focused on doing what is best for the child. Our attorneys can help advocate for this on your behalf.

Financial Changes

There are many financial changes that can prompt modification of a divorce decree including but not limited to, remarriage by either party, loss of employment, and unexpected medical expenses for either parent or the child. These changes can affect the amount and frequency of maintenance and child support payments, as well as payment of other expenses for a child.

The attorneys at Caesar & Bender, LLP, understand that unexpected life changes can occur, and a once-fair divorce decree may need to be modified. Molly Caesar and Michael Ian Bender can help you make these necessary modifications, as well as ensure that the other party remains in compliance with the agreement.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Bring your modification questions to us. We are happy to discuss them with you in a free initial consultation. Call our Chicago office at 312-236-1500 or send an email.