Tomorrow is National Ex-Spouse Day, and while it may seem like a strange day to “celebrate”, it’s an opportunity to review your separation and understand your options should you have a post-divorce dispute.
Celebrated annually on April 14th, the National Ex-Spouse Day is celebrated to encourage the people who have dissolved marriage to forgive their particular former spouses and successfully move beyond any bitterness and anger against them which might be present. But for many, this day isn’t a happy one. Some ex-couples engage in fighting about issues after the final divorce decree, and they need to head back to court to resolve them.
What is a Post-Divorce Dispute?
Also known as a post-decree dispute, post-divorce disputes often arise when one party does not fulfill obligations indicated in the divorce settlement. Often, one ex-spouse determines that the other has violated a court order relating to the divorce, for example, when one ex-spouse fails to pay court-ordered alimony.
Some of the most common issues involve:
- the payment of college expenses,
- recalculations of child support and emancipation of children,
- as well as modifications of maintenance.
Illinois has specific legal standards that relate to each of these issues, and we can help inform you of the law that relates to your post-judgment issue.
Post-Divorce Modifications in Illinois
While divorce decrees in the State of Illinois are considered “final” once they are admitted to the court, there are circumstances that warrant post-divorce modifications.
Whether one party’s financial situation changed and post-divorce child support or spousal maintenance awards must be updated accordingly, or if one of the parents wishes to move a marital child out of state, any official changes to the divorce decree require court intervention.
To request a post-divorce modification, one of the former spouses must file a “motion to modify” the divorce judgment. This motion is typically filed with the same court that issued the original divorce decree. The first step is to file the post-decree change request. You should make it clear what terms you want to be changed, and why. Then:
- File your motion with the court clerk’s office that originally issued your divorce decree.
- Serve your ex-spouse with the paperwork to notify him or her of the request and hearing date.
- Attend mediation or pre-hearing conferences if required.
- Appear in court for your hearing.
At the hearing, a judge will hear from both parties and any witnesses who can speak on their behalf. Once the judge makes a decision or final ruling on your motion, you could receive the final order that day; otherwise, it will be mailed to you.
Enforcement and modifications can be just as complicated as the initial settlement agreement, so it’s important to consult a qualified and experienced family law attorney.
How to Celebrate National Ex-Spouse Day
Even if you never envisioned yourself celebrating such a holiday, it’s something that millions of people go through with you and maybe there’s a silver lining to your partnership coming to an end.
Here are some ways to positively celebrate Ex-Spouse Day this year:
- Make it a day that’s really all about you! There’s no day like Ex-Spouse Day to focus on yourself. There’s tons of activities that are even easier to do as a single man or woman without someone else’s opinion. Do what makes YOU happy today. Whether that is a self care day with a massage and a nice dinner or a new outfit, it’s a step forward in your progress and emotional recovery in your situation.
- Enjoy time with the kids: If you share children with your spouse, today is an opportunity to fully embrace them and appreciate their presence. Go for an ice cream or a movie, and recognize the massive accomplishment it is to raise children.
- Acknowledge your growth post-divorce: The odds are that you are stronger, more resilient, and more than capable of handling problems you once thought you never could. Maybe you reflect on something that made you insecure in your relationship, that now you have completely conquered. This is proof you can conquer any fear if she was willing to face it head on.
- Remember that divorce happened, but it doesn’t define you: It may be hard to remember at times, but you are so much more than one single life event like divorce. Your divorce is only part of your story, which means you still get to write the ending. It’s important to release the past so it can stay where it belongs. The past remains in the past. So take the good – take the lessons – and leave the rest.
At Master’s Law Group, we are highly experienced in post-divorce disputes and offer a wide range of services that are tailored to our client’s unique needs.
Masters Law Group LLC has a unique depth of knowledge, experience and talent in the family law and divorce field. Are you in need of consultation regarding a post-divorce dispute? Contact us today and we’re here to help you resolve any issue we can. We look forward to hearing from you and supporting you through this time.