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Post-Divorce Modifications: How Child Support and Maintenance Work


Post-decree modifications are confusing for many individuals. After all, the divorce Judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement are the final documents filed in your case, essentially “closing” it. As such, many are surprised to find that they can return to Court to modify issues once the divorce is over.

Of course, you can’t modify just any issue. In fact, two of the few issues that are modifiable after a divorce is over are child support and maintenance. Primarily, this is because both are paid for a long period of time and, over time, many different circumstances may change.

So, what is the legal basis for modifying issues such as these? We discuss this and more below!

There are Certain Situations in Which You Can Modify Child Support and Maintenance

If you aren’t happy with the amount you’ve been ordered to pay or are receiving in child support or maintenance, you can’t return to Court on the basis of not liking the ruling. However, you may return to Court if a “substantial change in circumstances” occurs.

A substantial change in circumstances may mean one of many things to a Court for either the spouse paying support or the spouse receiving support. Here are just a few examples:

  • Financial – If you’re paying child support or maintenance and lose your job, only to be hired by a company that is paying you less, both support obligations will decrease in accordance with your new net income.
  • Physical – If you or your spouse suffers an accident and, for the sake of argument, are left unable to care for the children, parenting time may change. The children may also live with the other parent if the parent they were living with suffers a physical accident or condition where they are no longer able to care for the children.
  • Conduct – If a parent acts out and begins physically, mentally, or emotionally abusing the children, there will be a significant change in parenting time to protect the best interests of the children.

As you can imagine, the most common post-divorce modifications are financial. After all, spouses regularly change jobs and as such, must readdress the financials of the divorce with the Court. However, it’s important to remember that should other situations arise, there are protections in place to ensure the children are taken care of.

Contact Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. With Your Post-Divorce Modification Needs!

Whether you’ve recently started a new job and need to modify support or are experiencing other situations in which you believe that a post-divorce modification is necessary, the team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help.

Contact us today at 630-470-9990 or request your free, 30-minute consultation online to discuss the specifics of your case with Larry. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with any modifications you may need!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.