A Schaumburg couple finally decided to get divorced and go their separate ways. The wife felt as though her husband held her back from her dream of opening her own business. The husband felt his wife was not supportive enough of his own all-consuming, yet successful local bar and grill. After months of negotiating the terms of the contentious divorce, they breathed a sigh of relief when the court finalized their divorce settlement.
Like many of us, the spouses thought that the coronavirus pandemic was winding down, and they were dismayed to learn that Illinois’s Governor Pritzker started locking down more regions, including closing restaurants and bars. Not surprisingly, the husband's restaurant has been hit devastatingly hard, and he has been forced to shut down his indoor space again, as of October 30th. As a result, he has stopped paying spousal support to his ex-wife, in violation of the divorce settlement. What options does she have to recover the spousal support? What does it look like to file a post-decree motion for spousal support in the coronavirus era?
Can You Still File a Post-Decree Motion in Illinois?
Many of our clients are understandably concerned that they will not be able to change their spousal support or child custody arrangements after their divorce is finalized because of COVID-19. While it is true that many courts are shut down for most in-person hearings, courts are still operating in a limited capacity.
Will you still be able to file a post-decree motion while many Illinois courts are shut down?
Yes, but the procedure depends on whether you are filing an emergency family law issue or a non-emergency post-decree motion.
In this case, the wife can file a non-emergency motion on her ex-spouse, seeking spousal support. Alternatively, the husband can file a non-emergency motion to modify the divorce settlement, claiming that his income level has substantially changed, and he is no longer able to make the payments. The other party has 21 days to respond to the motion. In most cases, you will be allowed to move forward with your motion without appearing before an Illinois court in-person.
Common Post-Decree Filings
At Glasgow & Olsson, we have helped many clients throughout Cook County file post-decree motions. There are five common reasons to file a post-decree motion, including:
- Interpretation: In some cases, you need a court to clarify the terms of your divorce agreement.
- Modification: If you have experienced a substantial change in your circumstances that affects your ability to pay child support or spousal custody, you can ask the court to modify your obligations.
- Enforcement: When one party fails to pay the agreed-upon spousal or child support, you can request that the court enforce the agreement.
- Reformation: When both parties made a mistake in a divorce decree provision, you can petition the court to fix the problem.
- Termination of child support when a child has graduated from high school.
Contact a Chicago-area Family Lawyer Today
If you need assistance with a post-decree motion during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we can help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.