Once the court finalizes your divorce in Illinois, you may think that is the end of things. Your divorce decree is not written in stone, though. There is a possibility that you or your ex-spouse could request a modification. Generally, modifications may occur in regards to property division, child support, spousal support and parenting time, according to the Illinois General Assembly.

When and how you can make a modification depends largely on what you wish to modify. Spousal support and child support are probably the strictest when it comes to making changes. There are specific requirements to meet before you can make a modification request. For child support, you need to have a substantial change in circumstances. This means a change in your finances or the expenses for a child. It could mean the other parent gets a better job that pays more or there is a change of some type that creates a major issue with the amount of support in the original order.

For spousal support, the main way to get a modification is when you want to stop paying it. The law allows for the termination of support payments if one of you dies or if you have a major change in your finances. In addition, if the person receiving support gets remarried or starts to cohabitate with someone else in an intimate relationship, these are also grounds for terminating support.

Changes in parental responsibilities are usually on a case by case basis. Perhaps something has happened to warrant a change, such as the custodial parent goes to jail, then this would be something the court will consider. The court may also make modifications as children get older or as their needs change.

Property division changes to the original divorce decree do not happen often. The court requires strong evidence and some legal aspect to make a change to property allocation. This is really left to the court’s discretion, so the judge will decide if you can request a modification and his or her word is final. This information is for education and is not legal advice.