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Is it Possible to Modify an Illinois Child Support Order?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County child support modifications attorneyOne thing that is addressed in all divorce cases involving children is child support. Illinois believes that both parents have a responsibility to financially contribute to the cost of raising a child. Because of this, child support is not just the responsibility of one parent, but rather, an obligation for both. In the state of Illinois, child support is provided to the main caregiver by the child’s other parent until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. Both parents are responsible for what is called the “basic child support obligation.” Each parent’s share of that obligation is determined using a formula that takes into account the incomes of each parent in addition to their parenting time.

Life is not always predictable and can throw curve balls when we least expect it. It is not uncommon for a parent to become unable to handle their current support payments; however, they are legally required to pay them unless their arrangement gets legally modified. In the instance where you believe that your support payments should be modified, you can petition the court to make this change. Before you do that, you must be able to prove that there has been a “significant change in circumstances.” 

Examples of Significant Changes in Circumstances

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are three reasons why a child support order can be modified: there has been a significant change in circumstances, the child support order deviates from the child support guidelines, or the order needs to be changed to address the child’s healthcare needs. A significant change in circumstances is the most common reason why child support orders are modified. These changes in circumstances can include:

  • Changes in Parental Income: Perhaps one of the most common driving factors for a significant change in circumstances is a large change in either of the parents’ incomes. This can mean a change in child support payment amounts to fit the parents’ financial situations.

  • Changes of the Needs of the Child: If the child’s needs have changed and they now require additional financial support, a change in child support is often warranted. Courts will look at the reason the child needs more financial support and decide which parent is best suited to cover those changes.

  • A Remarriage for Either Parent: Child support will not automatically change if a parent remarries. Just because the parent has a new spouse does not mean the child is no longer entitled to financial support from both biological parents. The court will take into consideration the financial situation of the new family and use that as a driving factor to determine whether or not a change in support is valid.

  • A Change in How Parenting Time is Allocated: One of the factors that is used in calculating child support is how much time the child spends with each parent. If the parenting time for either parent significantly changes, then a change in the amount of child support paid may also be justified.

A DuPage County Child Support Attorney Can Help

There are many situations that can cause a change in a child or parent’s financial situation. If you are seeking to modify your child support orders, you need help from a skilled Naperville, IL divorce modification lawyer. At Goostree Law Group, we understand that things change, and an initial child support order may not be adequate years down the road. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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