Obtaining a Child Support Order Modification in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

While child support payments become stable and predictable when parents’ employment circumstances remain constant over time, instability and stress can ensue when there is an unexpected decrease in income. This is true for both the parent paying child support and, when payments fall short or cease altogether, for the parent and child receiving support. When people’s circumstances change, Illinois law allows parents to request a modification of a child support order to increase or decrease the amount of child support payments.

Either Parent Can Request Child Support Modification

Life happens. On the positive side, there are promotions and pay increases. On the negative side, there are layoffs, demotions, pay decreases, and job termination. Whether positive or negative, a meaningful change in the income source of child support payments bears on the support itself. When a paying parent’s income increases or decreases significantly, either parent may petition the court to modify child support payments accordingly.

Importantly, child support payments cannot be modified informally, out of court. Only a judge is capable of entering a binding modification, and these modifications must be based on the supporting parent’s ability to make their required payments. This bright-line reality may be maddening for a child support payer who is in need of downward modification yet worried about court and attorney’s fees. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney is well versed in efficiently and effectively navigating the support modification process.

Child-Related Bases for Child Support Modification

Not every child support modification order is based on the paying parent’s income. Sometimes, the need for modification corresponds with the needs of the child. For example, a child may have a physical or intellectual disability and thus require increased support. Other times, the child may have simply reached the age of majority or is no longer living with the parent receiving support payments. In other, more rare circumstances, questions of paternity may arise and, when founded, bear most heavily on the question of support.

The Support Your Child Needs

Child support-related issues can be a source of enormous emotional and financial stress.  Whether you are working to reach an agreement on an initial child support order or need to modify your order to meet your family’s changing financial needs, having a strong and experienced advocate on your side matters. The family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC will be there with you every step of the way, working to protect your rights and advocating for your best interests. Contact our Warrenville divorce lawyers at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.