Child support is an important family law issue no matter if you are the paying parent or the custodial parent. Sometimes life changes affect a parent's ability to provide or the needs of a child. When changes in life occur, parents in Illinois may petition the court to modify a current child support order.
A modification is a change to an existing judicial or administrative child support order. Generally, a parent may petition the court to request a modification to a child support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order was issued. Examples of a substantial change in circumstances include:
- An increase in the paying parent's income from a raise or change in job
- A decrease in the paying parent's income because of job loss or disability
- An increase in the needs of the child
- The child no longer lives with the parent who provides everyday care to the child
- The child turned 18 and no longer attends high school
- The child has a disability that requires additional support
Either parent who believes a substantial change in circumstances has occurred may petition the court for a modification in child support. Child support payments cannot be changed without going to court, and a Petition to Modify Child Support must be filed with the court. The child support amount does not change until a judge issues a new order with a new amount.
A parent who seeks a change to child support or is subject to a child support order may be subject to a hearing. At the hearing the parent may be asked questions that determine the amount of child support to be paid. Such questions will touch upon the number of children involved in the case, employment, income, living expenses, insurance coverage and marital status.
Parents who receive child support enforcement services from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services are subject to other rules regarding a modification to child support.
If you would like to file a petition to change a current child custody order, contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to help you with the process.