Modifying Your Child Support Order

child support, order modifications, Rolling Meadows Family Law AttorneysIt is the legally-recognized right of a child in Illinois to expect financial support from both parents, regardless of the relationship between them. It is impossible, of course, to legally mandate a healthy relationship between a child and both parents, but the state does have the ability to enforce orders of child support. If you are like most parents, you are more than willing to help provide for your child and make every effort to remain current on your ordered payments. What happens, though, when life changes make it difficult to meet your support obligations?

Creating the Original Order

In the vast majority of situations, the obligation to pay child support falls upon the parent who is not granted primary physical custody of the child. Illinois law provides a basic formula for calculating child support payments, based primarily on the payor’s net income and the number of children to be supported. Other circumstantial factors can be taken into account, including the resources and income of the custodial parent, as well as the physical, medical, and educational needs of the child.

An order for child support, however, is the result of a momentary snapshot of the family’s current situation. It cannot reasonably predict future changes in the life of either the paying parent or the child. For this reason, either parent may petition the court for a modification of the order if and when it becomes apparent that one is needed.

Continuing to Meet a Changing Needs

To qualify for a child support order modification, the petitioning party must demonstrate to the court that the current order should be changed to more accurately reflect the current situation. The petition must show:

  • A significant change in circumstances;
  • A previously unaddressed need to provide for the medical care, through health insurance or other means; or
  • Beginning January 1, 2016, that a recalculation based on current numbers would result in at least a 20 percent change in the order.

The significant change in circumstances may be, for example, the paying parent’s loss of a job or reduction in income, or an increase in the needs of the child due to an illness or educational opportunity. Based on the information presented, the court may grant a recalculation of the support obligation, and enter a new order to reflect the needed changes.

If you are currently subject to a child support order that you feel no longer meets your family’s needs, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney. We will meet with you to review your situation and help you identify the best course of action. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule a confidential consultation today and get the answers you need from a professional you can trust.


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