Post-Divorce Modification and Illinois Law
Upon completing the divorce process, it is very likely that one's circumstances will change at some point in the future. This is particularly true if a couple divorces at an earlier stage in life. If the changes are significant, upon notice and motion, it is likely that a court will order a modification of maintenance and/or child support awards.
Changes that May Result in Modification
In order for a petitioner (the person requesting modification) to obtain a modification of maintenance or support, he or she must prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Examples of changes that may give rise to modification include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Promotion or a new job that results in a substantially higher salary;
- Loss of a job or a substantial decrease in pay;
- Remarriage or having another child;
- A change in the medical or educational needs of a child; or
- A parent's desire to move to another state.
Child Support and Maintenance
Under Illinois law, the court will, in most cases, consider the best interests of any child or children when modification of support or visitation is requested. Child support may be modified if the petitioner demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances. In some cases, a petitioner can obtain a modification without showing a substantial change under the following circumstances:
- Upon a showing of an inconsistency of at least 20 percent, but not less than $10 per month, between the amount of the existing order and the amount of child support that results from application of the guidelines set forth under the child support section of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act); or
- Upon a showing of a need to provide for the health care needs of the child under the order through health insurance or other means.
A modification of maintenance is only available upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. The court considers the factors under the maintenance section of the Act, which include the income and needs of each party and the duration of the marriage. In addition, the court will also consider the following factors:
- Change in employment and whether that change was made in good faith;
- Efforts of the receiving party to become self-supporting;
- Impairment of present and future earning capacity;
- Tax consequences of maintenance payments;
- Duration of maintenance payments previously made in relation to the length of the marriage;
- Property, including retirement benefits awarded to each party;
- Any increase or decrease in each party's income;
- Property acquired and owned since the divorce was finalized; and
- Any other factor the court finds to be just and equitable.
Illinois Family Law Attorneys
For more information about post-divorce modifications, please speak with an experienced Illinois family law attorney today. Whether you need help requesting or opposing modification, the attorneys at MKFM Law can provide you with compassionate and knowledgeable representation. Call us today at 630-665-7300 to schedule your consultation.