How Can I Change My Child Support Obligation?

support, Arlington Heights child support lawyersChild support is designed to help children with unmarried or divorced parents enjoy the same quality of life as if his or her parents were married. There are many misunderstanding about the child support laws in Illinois. Child support is a separate issue from parenting time (visitation) and parental responsibilities (custody). A parent who does not have any custody of a child may still be required to pay support. Court-ordered child support obligations may be changed, but only if the parent requesting the change meets certain criteria.

Recently Updated Child Support Laws

Illinois child support laws changed significantly in July 2017. Child support amounts are now calculated with an income shares model. Before this change, child support obligations in Illinois were calculated by taking the payor’s net income and applying a certain percentage based on the number of minor children. For example, if you had one minor child, 20 percent of your net income would go to the child’s other parent in support at minimum. Now, child support in Illinois is calculated using an income shares model. Under this model, the Court considers the combined net income of both parents as well as other factors to determine a fair and reasonable support order.

Grounds for Child Support Modification

Child support orders cannot be changed for just any reason. Most of the time, support obligations can only change if the either spouse experienced a substantial change of circumstances, such as being laid off from work. Child support obligations may also be changed if the modification is needed to provide for the healthcare needs of the child. Generally, vested child support obligations cannot be changed.

A “vested” child support payment is one which is already due. Vested support obligations may be eligible for modification if the recipient parent agrees to the change.

Never Just Stop Making Payments

Child support nonpayment is taken very seriously by Illinois courts. If you cannot afford your payments, notify the other parent and the county court as soon as possible. Stopping payments or not making full payments can lead to wage garnishments, tax refund interception, and even jail time. If you wish to pursue a change in your obligation, you must file a Petition for Modification of Child Support with your local county court house.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

To learn more about how to change your child support obligation, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows child support attorney. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation at Cosley Law Office today.



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