Life is full of changes; relationships end and begin, children are born and grow up, salaries increase and decrease. While divorce settlements are meant to be permanent this doesn’t always make sense thanks to all of life’s changes.
That’s why under Illinois law it’s possible to have a divorce settlement modified when a substantial change in circumstances results in a divorce settlement no longer making sense.
For example, if one spouse is ordered to pay the other spouse alimony payments but the receiving spouse ends up moving in with a significant other a few years down the road, an alimony modification might be warranted.
Another example is if one parent is ordered to pay the other parent monthly child support payments, which are based on parental income, but in a few years the paying parent is earning much more or much less. A child support modification may be necessary in either case.
However, the post-divorce modification must be approved by the court before changes to alimony or child support payments can be made. Not adhering to a divorce settlement without court permission can result in a contempt order, potentially resulting in wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension or even jail time.
Finally, it’s also necessary to seek court permission if the custodial parent wishes to relocate with the child. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will step in to determine whether or not the move is in the best interests of the child.
For more information on divorce settlement modifications, please visit our Modifying a Divorce in Illinois page.