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When Can an Illinois Child Support Order Be Changed?

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support attorneyChild support payments can be a great way for unmarried or divorced parents to share the costs of raising a child. Child support in Illinois is calculated by the courts using the “income shares” model. This means that both parents’ income, property, and financial circumstances are taken into account in order to arrive at a child support amount which is fair and reasonable for both parties. Of course, life can sometimes be less than predictable, and situations can arise when a parent needs to change the amount of child support he or she is paying or receiving. If you are struggling to pay your court-ordered child support in Illinois, you may be able to reduce your payment by requesting a child support order modification.

When Can Child Support Be Modified?

There are only certain circumstances which warrant a child support modification. One way to change your child support payment amount is through a mutual agreement with your child’s other parent. If you and the other parent are able to agree on a new payment amount, you can draft your own written agreement, sign it, and submit it to the court for approval. If the court approves the new child support arrangement, the terms in your signed agreement are legally binding. If your child’s other parent does not agree to a modification, you will need to petition the court for a child support modification. The court will only grant a modification if there is a substantial circumstantial change. Circumstances that may lead to a modification request being approved include but are not limited to:

  • An increase or decrease in either parent’s financial stability;
  • The children’s needs have significantly changed;
  • You have experienced a significant increase in cost of living;
  • A parent has remarried;
  • There is a change in custody or parenting time; and
  • The child becoming emancipated.

Never Simply Stop Child Support Payments

If you are seeking a modification because you cannot afford your current child support payment amount, it is critical that you notify the court as well as your child’s other parent. Simply stopping payment can result in serious consequences. You could have your paychecks or bank account garnished, a lien placed on your property, or even be charged with a criminal offense. It is possible for a parent to be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for not paying child support for six months or owing over $5,000 in back payments. If the parent owes more than $20,000 in child support, they could face a Class 4 felony and be incarcerated for one to three years.

Contact a Naperville Family Lawyer

For help with child support modification or other family law concerns, contact an experienced DuPage County order modification lawyer from Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call 630-352-2240 to schedule your free initial consultation.



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