Divorced parents in Illinois often have a child support order issued by the court. The original child support order will be based on the relevant circumstances at the time of the divorce. When circumstances change, a parent may need to petition the court for a child support modification.
Reasons to request a child support modification
Either parent may request a modification to the existing child support order when there are significant changes in income or financial needs. For example, the paying parent may ask for a child support decrease if they lose their job. In other cases, the receiving parent could ask for a child support increase if they have learned that the paying parent is earning more money. Some other reasons for a child support modification request include:
- Medical expenses
- New children
When to request a child support modification
If you are the parent who is paying child support, it is very important that you request a child support modification as soon as you know that your income will decrease. Until a new child support order is approved, you will still be obligated to pay child support at the current rate. You could get into legal trouble for failure to keep up with your payments.
Similarly, a parent who is receiving child support shouldn’t delay in requesting a child support increase. As soon as you realize that the child support you are receiving is not covering your child’s essential financial needs, you may want to petition the court for a modification.
A child modification could be temporary or permanent
Depending on your family’s circumstances, your child support modification could be temporary or permanent. For example, if the paying parent is temporarily unable to work, they may request a temporary modification. If the paying parent has become permanently disabled, their income may be permanently reduced. In that case, the child support modification would need to be permanent.