If you are subject to a child support order and your circumstances have changed, you may need to seek child support modification from the court. Whether you have become unemployed, changed jobs, or had another change in your circumstances that has made paying your child support obligation difficult, our experienced child support modification attorneys can help.
What Factors Do Courts Consider When Determining or Modifying Child Support Orders?
Child support modification requests can be addressed judicially - by the court - or administratively, by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services. Your family law attorney will help you determine which process best protects your rights.
There are a few factors that the court will take into consideration when determining whether or not it is appropriate to modify the child support order to which you are subject. Primarily, the court will look at the paying parent’s income and whether the income has changed since the original order was issued, compared to the existing needs of the child.
A change in jobs, positions, hours worked, or pay rate could all affect a paying parent's income, as could a move to a more expensive city, unemployment, incarceration, a substantial increase in health insurance rates, or active duty military service.
Who Can Request Child Support Modification in Illinois?
You have the right to have your child support order reviewed every three years, or whenever there is a change income or circumstances.
The non-paying parent also has the right to ask for child support modification, if he or she believes the paying parent's income has actually increased due to a raise or job change, or the paying parent received a significant monetary gift or inheritance.
Non-paying parents may also seek an increase in child support if the child's needs have significantly changed. For instance, a modification may be appropriate if the child has a new medical diagnosis or disability requiring ongoing medical care.
A state agency may also request modification of child support. This can happen when a non-paying parent seeks assistance or benefits from the state.
The final decision on modification is left up to the judge. A change in income does not necessarily guarantee that the order requirements will be modified. Following the review process, child support orders may increase, decrease, or remain the same.
Parenting Time and Child Support
Several states take into account the amount of time the paying parent spends caring for their child when determining child support, but Illinois is not one among. Under 705 ILCS 5/710(c), parenting time is not used in determination of or modification of child support orders, though efforts are under way to encourage the legislature to consider changing the existing law.
Consult an Experienced Child Support Modification Attorney in DuPage County
A passionate DuPage County child support modification lawyer at our office can review the terms of your divorce, parenting plan or child support order, as well as your current income situation and determine whether you are eligible for child support modification. Our compassionate family law attorneys understand that circumstances and needs change, and that can impact child support.