Child support in Illinois is determined using what is known as the “Income Shares” model. This calculation method takes into account each parent’s net income, and, in cases involving shared parenting, it also takes into account the amount of parenting time assigned to each parent. A parent’s child support obligation is intended to be reasonably affordable, while still providing the financial support the other parent needs to cover child-related expenses. However, if circumstances change, the amount of child support a parent pays may no longer be appropriate, and a child support modification may be necessary.
Changing Your Illinois Child Support Order
Child support orders are legally-enforceable court orders that must be closely adhered to. If a parent does not pay his or her child support in full and on-time, he or she may face serious consequences. If you need to decrease your child support obligation, or if you are the recipient parent, and you need to increase the amount of child support you receive, you will need to petition the court for a child support modification. Illinois courts may modify an existing child support order if:
- There has been a “substantial change in circumstances” (defined in the next paragraph); or,
- A modification is needed to provide for the child’s healthcare needs; or,
- There is a considerable difference between the current child support obligation and the guidelines established by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and the deviation from the guidelines was not an intentional decision by the court.
Defining “Substantial Change in Circumstances”
Typically, a child support order is eligible for modification if a parent’s financial resources or the child’s financial needs have changed significantly. For example, if the paying parent (also known as the “obligor parent”) experiences a considerable increase in net income, his or her child support obligation may increase. Conversely, if the obligor parent loses his or her job, experiences a significant reduction in income, or experiences a significant increase in expenses, his or her child support obligation may decrease. However, the change in employment situation must have occurred in good faith – so if the parent voluntarily quit his or her job or took a position making less money to intentionally reduce his or her child support obligation, the court in these circumstances will most likely deny a modification request. An Illinois child support order may also be modified if the financial resources of the parent receiving support significantly increase or decrease. A substantial change in the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time may also necessitate a child support modification.
Contact an Oak Park Child Support Lawyer
For dependable, trustworthy legal assistance regarding any type of child support concerns, turn to the experienced professionals at the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. Schedule your free, confidential consultation with an experienced Hillside, IL family law attorney by calling our office at 708-449-7404 today.