Callahan & Hockemeyer
Callahan & Hockemeyer
Call Now: (847) 543-6910

Enforcement, Modifications & Terminations Lawyers

The family law attorneys at Callahan & Hockemeyer help Illinois parents enforce, modify, or terminate existing court orders. Although divorce, child custody, and support settlements and judgments are designed to address the current and future needs of families, unexpected situations occur, financial circumstances sometimes change, and court orders are not always followed. If the terms of your divorce or custody/support case no longer meet the best interests of your family, or the other parent/spouse is not fulfilling his or her obligations, you have legal options.

Call Callahan & Hockemeyer to find out how post-decree modifications and enforcement can help you move forward. 847-543-6910.

Post-Decree Litigation: Is It Time for Change?

In a perfect world, a finalized divorce decree would mean the end of heated disputes, courtroom appearances, and lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. Job changes, relocation, and personal issues place many former spouses back in the courtroom years after their cases were resolved.  In fact, our attorneys handle post-decree modifications and enforcement actions for countless former and new clients in Illinois every year.

When Post-Decree Modifications Are in Order

Under Illinois law, either party in a family law case is allowed to petition the court to make modifications to an existing parental responsibilities/parenting time, child support, or spousal maintenance order as long as significant, long-term changes in the life of one or both parents/former spouses exist.  Changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in income
  • Disability or serious health problems
  • Remarriage
  • Relocation or the desire to relocate
  • The child’s residential preferences change
  • The educational or medical needs of the child changes

Before making a determination regarding child support or parenting time/parental responsibilities, the courts will consider the child’s best interest.

When Post-Decree Enforcement Is Necessary

It is not uncommon for one party in a family law case to fail to comply with the terms of a court order. This non-compliance can be frustrating, often causing financial problems for the other spouse and family, damage to familial relationships, and emotional trauma to children. If the other party has failed to meet the terms of your court order, you don’t need to feel vulnerable and alone. Various legal options may be available to you. Our attorneys can evaluate your case, explain the steps you can take, and help you proceed down the path that will help you achieve your goals.

Three of the most common ways we can help you compel your ex to abide by the terms of your decree include:

  • Filing for civil contempt
  • Using collections procedures
  • Pursuing criminal charges if applicable

Termination of Child Support

In Illinois, children of divorced parents and parents who do not cohabitate have the right to receive financial support from both parents. Child support obligations can sometimes be modified, but they do not generally terminate until the child reaches the age of 18 (19 if still in high school.)

Termination of Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance obligations in Illinois end either automatically under certain circumstances, or when substantial changes occur, either spouse petitions the court, and the judge agrees.

There are generally six situations in which spousal maintenance obligations will cease in Illinois.

  • Cohabitation: When the payee spouse begins living with another person in a conjugal relationship, the payor can ask the court to order the termination of support.
  • Remarriage: When the recipient remarries, the other party can notify the court and file a motion to terminate maintenance.
  • Death of Either Party: If either party dies, maintenance obligations automatically cease unless a surviving recipient ex-spouse is entitled to life insurance. In most cases, the deceased’s estate is not obligated to pay spousal maintenance. If payments are received after the paying party dies, they must be paid back.
  • Substantial, Long-Term Change in Circumstances: Examples include a change of employment made in good faith, impaired earning capacity of the obligor due to medical issues or disability, the recipient spouse receiving a financial windfall.
  • Date Specified by Court Order: While some maintenance payments are ordered to be continued indefinitely, others are only ordered to continue for a set number of months or years. When court orders expire, maintenance payments automatically terminate.
  • Voluntary Agreement: Although you and your spouse may agree that spousal maintenance payments should stop, the judge may still decide differently.

Do You Need Help Modifying, Enforcing, or Terminating Your Decree?

Whether it is time for a change in your existing court orders, you need help enforcing the terms of your decree, or it’s time to cut ties and a termination is in order, we can help. With decades of experience, our family law attorneys can help you resolve even the most complicated post-decree disputes.

We’re available 24/7
icon of Tracy Callahan
Tracy M. Callahan
Cell (773) 307-8593
icon of attorney Robert Hockemeyer
Robert W. Hockemeyer Jr.
Cell (815) 790-2520