Chicago Post-Judgment Modifications Lawyer

Chicago Post-Judgment Modifications Lawyer

Chicago modifications attorney/lawyer

Most people are familiar with the concept of appealing a court’s decision. This is typically reserved for criminal cases in which a defendant feels as though an error of law resulted in an unfair sentence or failure of justice. If you have a standing family court order in place, you might wonder whether you have any ability to change the elements of the order in a similar way, but the reality is there is a much simpler option that does not require a protracted appeal that challenges the initial ruling.

Helping Chicago Clients With Family Court Order Modifications

The Illinois family courts recognize the fact that anyone can face unforeseen challenges in their life and very sudden changes in circumstances through no fault of their own. Many of these events can impact their standing in family court orders in various ways. For example, sudden job loss could leave a parent unable to meet their child’s support obligation. In addition, a sudden catastrophic injury could leave a parent unable to manage their parental responsibilities under their custody order. Ultimately, if you have a family court order and have recently experienced a sudden change in your life, the modification process allows you to address it efficiently without the need for an appeal.

Benefits of Hiring a Chicago Modifications Attorney

The modification process is relatively straightforward, and while it’s technically possible to navigate it on your own, it will be much easier and more likely to succeed with an attorney’s help. Hiring an experienced Chicago modifications attorney can make your petition more likely to succeed. Alternatively, if you must respond to another party’s petition for modification, your attorney can help you determine your best options for contesting their requested changes.

Johnson O’Keefe takes time to learn as much as possible about every client we represent to ensure we provide fully individualized representation in every case. You probably have lots of questions concerning whether you have grounds to petition for modification and what you can expect from the process. Our team will carefully review the details of the recent event that has prompted your need for legal counsel. Every modification petition is unique, and whether you need help drafting one or responding to one, Johnson O’Keefe is ready to provide the ongoing support you need to reach a positive outcome.

What to Expect in a Modification Case

The modification process in Illinois family court begins with a petition for modification. The party requesting a change to their court order must carefully explain the change requested and provide their explanation for requesting the change. Once the court receives their petition, a hearing is scheduled, and all parties beholden to the order will be able to testify on the matter. A family court judge will oversee the hearing and listen to every party’s side of the issue. It’s possible that your request is perfectly logical and reasonable, and the other party may see little to no reason to contest it. However, it’s also possible for them to put up some resistance, and your attorney can help you address this problem should it arise. When the other party hotly contests a modification, it could take multiple hearings before the judge can resolve the matter. Whatever your situation entails, you will be best prepared to meet your case’s challenges when you have an experienced Chicago modifications attorney assisting you.

Commonly Reported Reasons for Family Court Order Modification Petitions

It’s important to remember that if you need to change your child support, child custody, or spousal support terms in Illinois family court, the reason for the change must be an understandable change in your circumstances and/or a recent life event beyond your control. Some of the most commonly cited reasons for modification petition filings in Illinois include:

  • Job loss. The unexpected loss of a job can make it difficult or impossible to meet financial obligations imposed by family court until alternative employment is secured. If you lose your job due to forces outside of your control, you can request a temporary adjustment to your support obligations to reflect your new circumstances. You cannot, however, simply quit your job and then file a petition for modification claiming you can’t afford to make your support payments.
  • Medical emergencies. If you suffer a catastrophic injury, you may need to reevaluate several aspects of a standing family court order to account for the aftermath. If a custodial parent experiences an injury or develops an illness that prevents them from meeting their parental obligations, they have a legal obligation to report it to the court. The court must ensure a standing custody order aligns with the child’s best interests and adjust it accordingly when the parents’ medical conditions change.
  • Domestic violence. In the event you experience domestic violence from an ex-spouse, a co-parent, or any other parent beholden to a family court order, you can file a petition to hold them in contempt. Whenever any party violates the terms of a standing family court order, this behavior can easily lead to extensive family court proceedings. In addition, the at-fault party faces losing any previous custody or visitation rights, along with additional penalties assigned at the judge’s discretion.
  • Relocation. If divorced or unwed parents have a joint custody agreement, the order likely includes very specific terms for relocation. This means that if either party wishes to relocate, they must notify the other party as well as the family court. Relocation disputes are some of the most contentious modification cases that unfold in Chicago family court. A judge must resolve changes in custody that they believe reflect the child’s best interests in this type of case.

A modification petition can be approved with little contest or need for changes, and the judge handling the hearing may immediately implement requested modifications. However, it is also possible for a petition for modification to kick off a protracted series of contentious hearings, with both sides arguing in favor of their preferred terms. Whatever your situation may entail, Johnson O’Keefe can provide the responsive legal counsel you need to navigate your modification case as successfully as possible. Whether you need to speak with a Chicago modifications attorney about a petition you need to file or for help responding to another party’s petition, contact Johnson O’Keefe today and schedule a consultation.

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