Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Understanding the need for a final divorce decree

When can an Illinois couple say their marriage has finally been ended? They have to wait until the court has issued a final divorce decree. This also applies even if the divorce was amicable and the couple reached a settlement agreement out of court. The decree will be the court's confirmation that the judge has granted the termination of the marital relationship.

Newly divorced spouses might have trouble understanding the divorce decree. There are five typical issues covered by a divorce decree, including maintenance, sometimes referred to as spousal support or alimony. The decree will also contain details of the property division and any child-related issues. This will pertain to custody and visitation orders if the couple has minor children, along with child support orders issued by the court. These details will even be included in a divorce decree that is issued regarding an uncontested divorce.

Even though the divorce decree is final, certain aspects may involve flexible agreements. As circumstances change, the court may entertain petitions for modifications to child custody, visitation and parenting time orders. Also, if a noncustodial parent experiences a significant change in financial circumstances, a modification petition can seek a reduction in court-ordered child support payments. Of course, this works both ways, and a custodial parent can seek un upward modification based upon proof that the income of the noncustodial parent has increased substantially. 

A final divorce decree is necessary before either party can remarry, change back to a maiden name or remove a spouse's name from insurance policies or other accounts. Anyone in Illinois with questions about a divorce decree can get answers from an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can also help obtain a copy of a divorce judgment that has already been entered, or help those that are just starting the process to achieve a fair and comprehensive settlement.

Source:, "Divorce Decree", Yvette Robinson, Sept. 29, 2017

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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