Is It Time To Modify Child Support? What You Need To Know

If you think it may be time to modify child support ordered by an Illinois court, here’s what you need to know. Child support amounts are determined based on the Illinois Child Support Guidelines. Guideline child support is calculated by first determining the parties’ combined net income. This model of calculating support is referred to as “income shares.” That is because our State believes children should be entitled to the same standard of living that they would have had if their parents stayed together.

Once the amount for child support is figured out an order is entered with the Court. However, financial situations may change after the support order is entered. As we know, life tends to happen. The paying parent’s income could significantly increase after the order is entered or the child’s expenses could increase. The possible changes are endless.

Illinois Child Support Modification

What happens if your financial situation changes after the original child support is ordered

The alleged change in circumstances must first be proved before a court will entertain modifying the obligation or determining a new support amount. It is unlikely that a court will modify support if the change in income was done voluntarily or if the change was made in bad faith.

It is not uncommon to hear that a paying parent decided to voluntarily quit their job. Sometimes people decide to go back to school. A person might decide to make a career change. Maybe the stress of their job was too much. Maybe they wanted more flexible hours. There are a lot of reasons why people change jobs or make career moves but you have to remember that the State and the courts are concerned with what is in the best interests of the children.

Generally, it is not wise to leave a job without another source of income lined up but there are also cases when the payor had good reason to do so. When a person tries to modify their support obligation after voluntarily leaving a job the outcome in court is a toss-up. It all comes down to the facts of the case. Every case has a unique set of facts.

What about when you lose your job due to no fault of your own?

A Judge could order a support obligation to be temporarily modified. In these situations, judges often order the unemployed party to keep a job diary during their employment search. The judge can order a party to apply for a specific number of position per day, per week, per month, etc. When the unemployed party finds employment the support obligation will need to be recalculated based off the new income.

Petition to Modify Child Support

If you’ve experienced what you believe may qualify as a “substantial change of circumstances” since an Illinois court issued your child support order, don’t delay seeking legal assessment. Contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced child support lawyers to help you determine if it’s time to modify child support.


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