Enforcement and Modification of Illinois Divorce Orders


Please be advised that all courts orders entered by a judge must be followed. It is imperative that you read and fully understand all orders entered in your case. The court has considerable discretion to enforce court orders. This discretion includes contempt powers which may include the levy of fines, sanctions or imprisonment against an offending party of up to 6 months in jail.

Procedurally, a court order is enforced by filing a Petition for Rule to Show Cause (Petition for Indirect Contempt or Court). The Petition for Rule to Show Cause is a complaint that the offending party has violated a court order and typically requests that the court exercise its contempt powers to enforce the court order and that the offending party be required to pay all of the legal fees incurred by the moving party in prosecuting the matter.


Modification of a Judgment for Dissolution for child support or maintenance/alimony is allowed only upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change may include a change in employment, emancipation of a child, increased costs of a child or an increase in income. See 750 ILCS 5/510.

Custody will not be modified within two (2) years of entry of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage unless there is a showing of a serious endangerment to the child. The serious endangerment standard is a very high legal standard since the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act favors stability and finality of custody judgments.

We welcome you to learn more about the Illinois divorce process or to contact The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC for a free, confidential consultation about your situation and concerns. Our attorneys assist divorced parties in moving the court to enforce or modify existing judgments; we can advise you with regard to the legal and practical viability of your desired motion, as well as the best strategy for filing and supporting it.