Call Us Today  312-442-2225 ESPAÑOL

Modification of Your Divorce Decree 

Posted on in Divorce

chicago divorce modification lawyerAfter the tumultuous process of divorce, there are many crucial matters to address, including modifications to your divorce decree. In Chicago, Illinois, couples seeking a modification to their divorce judgment must navigate the complexities of the legal system, which can be challenging. Divorced individuals wishing to make a change to their divorce decree are encouraged to reach out to a family law attorney for help. 

Post-Divorce Child Support and Custody Modifications

Chicago bases child custody decisions on what's in the child's best interests, but things can alter after a divorce. A parent's relocation may require a modification to the custody circumstances. The custody may need to be changed if one parent proves unsuitable to take care of the child in their custody. Or, the child's preferences may be taken into account if they reach an age where they can express them.

You may need to change your child support order in certain situations. A significant change in one parent's take-home pay may necessitate a modification to the child support judgment. If the child's educational or medical expenses change, the child support judgment may also need modifications. Major changes to the parenting plan may also necessitate a child support modification. 


cook county divorce lawyerOne of the most frustrating parts of a divorce or child custody case is interpreting legal jargon and unfamiliar language. For example, while the term child custody is still sometimes used in casual settings, Illinois law refers to child custody as “the allocation of parental responsibilities,” and visitation is legally known as “parenting time.”

If you are a parent getting divorced, you may have questions about the language used in the parenting plan. One term many people are confused by is “the right of first refusal.” A skilled family law attorney can help you understand the right of first refusal and how you can use this element of your parenting plan to benefit you and your children.

Parenting Time Schedules in Your Illinois Parenting Plan

A crucial element of any parenting plan is the parenting time schedule. Illinois law states that parents must either create a schedule for sharing parenting time or a method for determining parenting time that is detailed enough to be enforced by the court, if needed. Some parents choose to alternate weeks, while others have the child stay with one parent during the week and the other parent during the weekend. If you and your child’s other parent can agree, you can divide parenting time however you see fit. But what happens when the parent who is assigned parenting time cannot watch the child? This is where the right of first refusal comes in.


chicago family law attorneyIn 2015, Illinois passed the Parentage Act. This provides parentage guidelines for same-sex partners. According to this act, a person can be presumed parent of a child under the age of eighteen in the following situations: 

  • Spouses were married in a civil union when the child was born 

  • The child was born 300 days before the end of a marriage or civil union 


chicago divorce lawyerThe Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 defines domestic violence as an act of abuse (harassment, physical abuse, wilful deprivation, intimidation of a dependent, or interference with personal liberty) that is perpetrated against a family or household member. Since 2019, domestic violence cases have increased, leaving many people wondering how they can legally protect themselves and their families. Domestic violence is a serious crime that produces family disharmony and affects healthy childhood development. If you are a victim of domestic abuse and are filing for a divorce, an attorney can help get you the protection you need and show you how abuse can impact your divorce case.  

The Varying Forms Of Abuse 

There are many different forms of abuse used to control and manipulate victims. And not all of them are physically visible. Recognizing signs of abuse is an important step to filing for divorce against an abusive spouse. 

Physical Abuse - Physical abuse is any act of physical violence intended to injure or endanger someone. This can be anything from choking, punching, slapping, pinching, hair pulling, force-feeding drugs or alcohol, and even threatening and hurting your children. Physical abuse is still abuse, even when it does not cause serious harm. Minor violence that does not leave major damage to your physical form, is still abuse. 


chicago divorce lawyerAn unfortunate but common feature of many divorces is accusations of abuse or neglect made by one parent about the other. Sometimes these accusations are legitimate, and sometimes they are made out of hurt, anger, or a desire for vengeance. While parents usually seek what is best for their children, the hostility of divorce can sometimes make it difficult to prioritize a child’s best interests over involvement in adult conflict. 

Sometimes these accusations are made exclusively in divorce court. Other times, however, they are made to outside agencies - Child Protective Services (CPS) in particular. Finding out that you are being investigated by CPS in addition to dealing with the stress and difficulties of divorce can feel insulting and outrageous. Because the stakes are so high, it is important to remain calm and learn what to do in these circumstances and to have the help of an Illinois family lawyer who can guide you. 

Can a CPS Investigation Change the Outcome of a Divorce? 

When someone - even an anonymous tipster - makes an allegation of abuse or neglect about a parent, CPS has a legal obligation to follow up and investigate the allegation. Initial contact from CPS does not necessarily mean there will be a full investigation, but if CPS determines that there is a significant threat of harm to a child, they will launch an investigation quickly. 

badge badge badge badge badge badge Rate Us
Back to Top