Anderson & Boback Logo

The Importance of Representation with an MSA

Categorized as Divorce, Divorce Litigation

We are often contacted for assistance with post-decree matters stemming from Marital Settlement Agreements with awards for maintenance. It is typical for divorces to result in the entry of Judgments for Dissolution of Marriage with incorporated Marital Settlement Agreements. Parties enter into Marital Settlement Agreements for a number of reasons. Some parties may wish to end the marriage on amicable terms, so they decide to enter into an agreement that they believe is fair and just. Other parties may enter into agreements to avoid the cost of litigation and to speed up the divorce process. Although time and money are factors to be considered when discussing settlement options during the dissolution process, it is highly recommended that both parties have adequate representation prior to signing a Martial Settlement Agreement, especially when an agreement contains an award for maintenance. Unfortunately, many people enter into agreements without considering the long-term effects it will have on their finances, as they believe they can later modify the terms. Pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/510, of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, maintenance may only be modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. The Court determines whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, by considering several factors, which can be found in 750 ILCS 5/504 and 750 ILCS 5/510. One example of a potential change in circumstances could be a change in the employment status of either party. However, that change must have been in good faith. A Court will only modify a maintenance award if they determine a modification would be just and equitable based on the change in circumstances. It is unlikely for a Court to enter a Judgment, with an incorporated Marital Settlement Agreement, that the Court finds to be unconscionable. Therefore, it is very important that you seek representation prior to entering into any agreement, as a later modification is not guaranteed.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is a relief granted to a party in a dissolution of marriage case that equitably restores to the party a standard of living to which they became acclimated during the marriage.  For spouses going through…

Visitation interference occurs when the custodial parent in some way interferes with your ability to spend parenting time with your child or visit with them.  In Illinois, a parent has a couple of options when the other parent interferes with…

We receive inquiries regularly from parents of children in Illinois regarding whether or not they can remove their child from the state of Illinois when they are estranged from their child’s other parent.  The answer varies, depending on different situations.…

People often are confused about the difference between a Civil Union and a Domestic Partnership, and what their rights are if their partner, to whom they are not married, leaves them or predeceases them.  This blog is designed to explain…

One of the most hot-button terms in parenting cases in Cook County is “alienation”, meaning that one parent is actively seeking to keep the child from having a relationship with their other parents. The current laws on parenting favor both…

In Illinois, there are two main ways to go about changing your minor child’s name: by agreement, and by Court adjudication of the issue.  As with all things related to co-parenting a minor child, the easiest and least costly method…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870