Changing Circumstances May Require Changes To Existing Orders

Knowledgeable Representation In Modification Actions

The terms of your property settlement in divorce are final, but financial support, custody and visitation can be modified by court order when there is a substantial change in circumstances. Whether you are seeking modification, or wishing to prevent one, you need veteran legal representation to protect your interests.

Zuba & Associates, P.C., of Rockford, Illinois, has served as a vigorous advocate for hundreds of clients — custodial and noncustodial — in modification hearings in all family courts of Winnebago, Ogle, Boone and Stephenson counties.

Modifying Child Support

Has your ex-spouse received a promotion? Has unemployment reduced your ability to provide for your child? Family law attorneys James T. Zuba and Mark F. Aiello can examine your financial situation and advise as to whether you meet the qualifications for a modification of court-ordered child support:

  • Cost of living increase for children
  • Increase in the payer's income
  • Decrease in the custodial parent's income
  • Child has graduated from high school or reached age 19

Modifying Spousal Maintenance

If your ex-spouse has remarried, or their income has risen substantially, you may qualify for a reduction or end to alimony payments. Similarly, if an ex-spouse has been paying support and now earns more, you might be eligible for an increase.

Modifying Custody And Visitation

Within two years of a divorce decree or child custody agreement, courts will generally not modify terms unless you can prove that the present environment seriously endangers the psychological, moral, physical, or emotional well-being of the child.

After two years, either parent can request a modification for substantial change in circumstances. To do so, you must demonstrate how it would be in the best interests of the child. For instance, the court might alter joint custody to sole custody if the child's academic performance has markedly declined, or a new partner is abusive to the child. (Courts are reluctant to change sole custody to joint custody). The parenting agreement regarding pick-up and drop-off, overnights, vacation, or visitation can be modified at any time if both parties are in agreement or if in the best interest of the child or children to do so.

Relocation is difficult to win in Illinois. If you wish to move out of state or within Illinois, the court will require:

  • Proof that the child's quality of life will be enhanced by the move
  • Proof that the move is not merely intended to deprive the non-custodial parent of access (that parent must retain reasonable visitation arrangements)

Similarly, if you are resisting relocation, you will have to convince the court that you are not challenging the petition for spiteful reasons, and that you are actively involved in the child's life.

Visitation Agreements/Paternity Suits

Parents who were never married retain the same rights as divorced parents in custody and child support. We represent either party in paternity actions (to gain visitation/joint custody, or to require financial support). The court recognizes the right of both to spend time with the child, absent proof that visitation is or would be detrimental to the child. We can help draft or modify a visitation agreement.

Let Us Review Your Situation

Contact child support and child custody modification attorney James Zuba for a full explanation of your rights, obligations and grounds for modifying a court order. Zuba & Associates, P.C. offers a consultation, with Spanish interpretation available. Call 815-315-9351.