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Post-divorce modifications are sometimes necessary when an inappropriate or unfair divorce ruling was entered into the official records. In other cases, a judge’s final ruling is fair and appropriate but at some point, it no longer fits the couple’s needs. In either of these cases, one or both parties can petition the court for a post-divorce modification that can change the ruling and alter the terms so it better suits either party. However, there are some things to know about these modifications before you seek one from the court.
Family judges take final rulings and divorce agreements very seriously and so, no one can seek a post-divorce modification unless they can show there is a really good reason for doing so. One or both parties must show that there has been a significant change in their personal or financial situation that makes it impossible or impractical to continue on with the terms of the original agreement or settlement.
For example, when a judge is determining how much child support one person must pay, they will calculate the amount using each parent’s income. If the payer eventually loses their job and can no longer reasonably make the payments, they can seek a modification from the court. This is just one situation in which a post-divorce modification may be made by the court.
Again, family judges take final settlements and agreements very seriously and so, it is expected that the couple will live with those rulings for a certain period of time. On the other hand, sometimes post-divorce modifications must be made more quickly.
Post-divorce modifications regarding property division typically must be sought within 30 days of signing the settlement. The only exception to this is when the property was divided fraudulently, such as if it was found later that one spouse hid assets to avoid them from being divided during the divorce. If you need to seek a post-divorce modification regarding property division matters and 30 days have not yet passed, you must file a motion with the court that handled the divorce.
In most cases, child custody orders and parenting plans cannot be modified unless two years have passed since the date the order was signed. There are also some exceptions to this. If you and your former spouse agree to the modification, you can typically seek one sooner. Also, if you can prove that the current order places your child in danger, you can seek a modification from the court sooner than two years from the date the order was signed.
Although modifications are possible after a divorce, they are not always easy to obtain. If you need to seek a modification from the court, our skilled DuPage County family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help you through the process and give you the best chance of success. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.