You may sigh with relief when the Illinois court finalizes your divorce decree. The stress and upheaval in your life may feel like it falls away because everything is final now. While that may be true for the short-term, your divorce decree is not as final as you may think. You or your ex-spouse may ask for certain changes to the decree in the future.

The Illinois General Assembly explains there are a few things you can change in your divorce decree and one important thing you usually cannot change. The one aspect that you cannot change is the property division decisions. In general, unless there are some legal grounds by which the court must revise them. This is rare, though, so you should expect any property division to be final when your decree is final.

What you can change are any support payments and parental responsibilities. Child support and alimony rely on income reports at the time of your divorce, which could change in the future. If you have significant changes in income or other circumstances, you can usually request a modification of support payments. Also, child support usually ends when your child reaches the age of 18, so this change may happen automatically. Spousal support also usually has an end date, which might depend on various factors or be a date the court chooses.

Parental responsibilities may be more difficult to change, but you do have the right to request a modification if you have solid reasons for doing so. This information is for education and is not legal advice.