When a child’s parents split up, family law courts which address issues related to child custody will be looking to protect the child’s best interests. In addition to making decisions about where a child will primarily live, how involved each parent will be in raising the child, and when the child will spend time with each parent, the court will also ensure that the child’s financial needs will be properly addressed. Child support obligations will apply to both parents, and these obligations will be determined based on the amounts of income the parents earn. The parents may also be required to divide certain child-related expenses, such as the costs of daycare, medical treatment and extracurricular activities. However, the parents’ income may change in the years after the court makes its decision, and in such situations, it is important to understand when and how child support may be modified according to Illinois law.
Requesting a Child Support Modification
Parents may request modifications of child support orders if they believe that changes are necessary. In most cases, when a parent petitions for modifications to these orders, they will be required to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. These changes may have affected either parent or their children, but the petitioner will need to show that they are significant enough to require a modification to orders that had been issued previously.
Changes in income will often qualify for a child support modification. For example, if a parent who makes monthly child support payments has lost their job and cannot make the required payments, they may request that their payments be temporarily lowered or suspended until they can find employment. In these situations, that parent will typically need to show that the changes in employment occurred in good faith (for example, they did not voluntarily quit their job in order to avoid paying child support), and that they are making efforts to find a new job that will allow them to meet their financial obligations. Until a new court order is issued, existing child support obligations will remain in place. However, modifications may be made retroactive to the date that a petition for modification of child support was filed, so it is important for a parent to act quickly to request a modification as soon as they experience issues that affect their ability to meet their obligations.
In some situations, child support may be modified without the need to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances. For example, if at least three years have passed since a child support order was entered or previously modified, child support may be recalculated based on the income that both parents currently earn. A modification may be appropriate if this recalculation would result in child support payments that are at least 20 percent higher or lower than what is currently being paid. However, these types of modifications will typically only be allowed if a previous child support order had been created through the Illinois Division of Child Support Services.
Contact Our Oak Park Child Support Modification Lawyer
At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we can help you determine your options for possibly modifying existing child support orders. We will make sure you provide the proper information when requesting a modification, and we will advocate for changes that will provide your children with the proper support, while also allowing you to meet your own needs. Contact our Hillside child support attorney at 708-449-7404 to set up a no-charge consultation.