According to Illinois law, both of a child’s parents must financially contribute to their child’s upbringing – even if the parents are unmarried or divorced. Illinois child support payment amounts are calculated using the “income shares” method. This method uses each parent’s net income and the amount of parenting time assigned to each parent to determine an appropriate child support order. If a parent wants to change the terms of the child support order, he or she will need to petition the court for a child support modification.
Modification Reviews Through DCSS
Child support orders are eligible for a “modification review” every three years. The Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will notify parents of their right to request a review of their current child support order. When a parent requests a review through DCSS, each parent will be asked to submit financial documentation which will be used to determine whether a modification is necessary.
Substantial Changes in Circumstances
If it has not yet been three years since the end of a couple’s divorce or the last time a child support modification review was conducted, parents will typically only be able to request a modification if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” The following situations may qualify for a modification:
The parent who pays child support has experienced a significant change in his or her financial circumstances. This may include a major increase or decrease in income, termination of another support or maintenance obligation, the loss of a job, or a disability that has affected their ability to earn the same amount of income.
The parent who receives child support payments has experienced a major change in his or her financial circumstances.
The child’s needs have changed. For example, a child may be diagnosed with a medical condition that requires costly medical treatment, and one parent may request that the other parent contribute toward these expenses.
A significant reallocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time occurs.
A child support order may also be eligible for modification if the existing order does not adequately account for the child’s expenses, such as healthcare coverage or educational costs.
Contact DuPage County Child Support Lawyer
At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand that child support payments are essential for providing for a child’s needs. However, circumstances can change that would result in child support placing an unreasonable financial burden on an obligor parent. If you need to change your child support order for any reason, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation.