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How does the Illinois court view child support modification?

Unfortunately, you lost your job. However, you have just started a new job with better prospects for the future. The only problem is that the starting pay is lower than what you had been earning.

The new company will not consider a salary increase until you complete the six-month probationary period. Meanwhile, the amount of the monthly child support payments you are making will be hard on your budget. Consequently, you are going to request a modification to the existing child support agreement you have with your ex-spouse, and you wonder if the court will approve it.

What the law says

Illinois law states that it is the obligation of both parents to provide support for their children, and, as payor, you have been taking care of your end of the responsibility. The amount of support you pay is a percentage of your net income. The child support calculator the state uses begins with your gross income, and the net is the bottom line after taking out taxes, union dues, health care insurance, alimony and other necessary expenses.

The 20 percent rule

Something to consider: If you receive a salary raise in six months, it may be a relatively small increase, which may not affect the child support order. However, the cumulative effect may be significant over time. Therefore, the court may approve further modification if a recalculation indicates a change of 20 percent or $50 a month to the existing order, whichever is less.

Help when you need it

The court is always going to take into account what is best for your child when it comes to agreement modification. You must prepare to demonstrate why your request is necessary, and a family law attorney experienced with the workings of the court will be able to help. If the court approves the modification, a recalculation for your support obligation will provide an updated picture of the new circumstances.

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