Post Divorce Issues
The Law Offices of Michael Roe has strong experience representing clients in matters concerning the modification of orders previously entered by the court in an underlying divorce or family law case. These matters can include petitions to modify child support, upward or downward depending on a change in one party’s income or circumstances, and petitions to modify custody or visitation to accommodate a change in the well being of the children of the prior marriage.
Michael Roe has found that many times in the underlying divorce, certain issues were not addressed or considered that bear upon the developmental well being of the children, and steps need to be taken in the years after the divorce to modify residential custody or visitation schedules to suit the best interests of the children. As well, financial circumstances may change, requiring a modification of support orders that adapt to the financial circumstances of a family after the divorce has been completed.
Most modifications require careful management to determine the best approach to take in a given situation. Four main issues are resolved as part of a divorce that often become the subject of a post-divorce action:
- Child custody (allocation) modifications — A parent may need to relocate to another city or state, demonstrating a significant change in circumstances. In other cases, circumstances may develop after the divorce has completed that suggest that the original parenting plan is not working well, or that the children are being harmed by the behaviors or circumstances of one of the parents.
Some of the grounds for seeking a change in a parenting order in Illinois include:
- Changes in a co-parent’s work routine
- There is a change in the child’s needs or preferences
- One of the parents is negligent in things like dropping the child off at school on time or providing diligent care when the child is unwell
- A ‘relocation’ situation where one of the co-parents seeks to relocate at a distant location from where the child resides
Child support modifications — A parent may have changed jobs, leading to less income available to meet existing support awards. Some examples of changed circumstances that may warrant a motion to modify child support are:
- A change in one/both parents’ income
- A parent’s loss of their job
- A parent’s imprisonment (subject to some exceptions)
- A parent has a child from another relationship
- There has been a modification in a parents’ parenting order
- There has been a change in the child’s financial needs regarding education, extracurriculars, child care, or health care
- Changes in the factors used in child support calculations under state law.
- Spousal support modifications — There may have been a remarriage or adjustment to a person’s income that requires maintenance payments to be reduced or ended.
- Property division modifications — Courts in Illinois are hesitant to revisit property division agreements absent a showing of fraud.
If, in the year or years after your divorce or underlying family law case is resolved, you find that there are changes in the financial picture or substantial changes that affect the health and safety of the children, contact Michael Roe at (331) 222-9161 or contact us online for more information about your alternatives in pursuing a change to the court’s prior orders, if possible, to address any problems that have arisen.