Regardless of whether you pay child support or receive such payments on your child’s behalf, you undoubtedly recognize the importance of these financial obligations. It is a basic principle of Illinois law that your child deserves support from both parents, no matter what may have led to their breakup, separation, or divorce. Once the court has entered an order for child support, it is imperative for the paying parent to remain in compliance with the order. It is also important for the recipient parent to use support payments to provide for and promote the child’s best interests.
Over time, however, many families will find themselves in a situation where an existing order for child support is no longer reflective of the family’s current circumstances. If and when this happens, either parent may seek to have the child support order modified by the court so that the order properly addresses the child’s needs in compliance with Illinois law.
In some cases, your child support order may become less applicable or impossible to remain compliant with. This could happen for a number of reasons. For example, if the paying parent was suddenly injured in an accident and became disabled, the change in his or her income could make compliance with a child support order nearly impossible. A modification could also become necessary if the paying parent was recently granted significantly more parenting with the child. Time with the child is a major factor in Illinois child support calculations, and the change could result in a lower support obligation for the paying parent.
A parent seeking a modification of a child support order must be prepared to demonstrate why the modification is needed. If a modification is found by the court to be appropriate, an updated calculation will be completed that will better reflect the family’s new circumstances.
In other situations, the changes affecting a family are much less dramatic, instead taking place over an extended period of time. Many working parents, for example, will be given smaller, cost-of-living increases and relatively minor promotions in the course of their career. A single such increase may not affect the applicability of a child support order but the cumulative effect of such increases over time can be rather significant.
For this reason, Illinois law provides that a modification to an existing child support order is appropriate if a recalculation under the present circumstances would lead to a change of 20 percent or $50 per month, whichever is less, to the previously entered order.
If our Illinois Child Support Calculator produces results that are significantly different than what you are currently paying or receiving, contact an experienced Illinois child support lawyer in your area. He or she can help you determine what may be causing the difference and discuss your options for pursuing a child support order modification.