The amount of child support the Illinois court orders depends on the parent’s income and the child’s expenses. So, if there is a change in circumstances that affects those two factors, a judge might consider child support order modification. Here’s a quick overview of how you can increase or decrease your support payments.
Grounds for modifying child support order in Illinois
In Illinois, you can modify your child support order either through the court or an administrative process. An agency of the Illinois Department of healthcare and Family services known as the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), which also oversees child custody & parenting time, can review child support orders and change them accordingly if there’s a compelling reason to.
The grounds that can be used to change a child support order include:
• A substantial change in circumstances of either parent or the child
• A minimum of three years have passed since the last child support order was entered
• The child is now 18 years old but still attending high school full time (or will turn 18 during the school year and is still attending high school full time)
• If either parent requests the DCSS to review the initial order and they happen to find a reason to modify your arrangement
How to modify a child support order
File a petition for modification. You will need to fill out and file a Motion to Modify Support form. You can get this form online through the Illinois Legal Aid website or physically from your courthouse’s circuit clerk’s office.
Next, serve the other parent with a notice of the modification proceedings. You can do this by mailing the notice to the other parent or by hand-delivering it. The notice must include information about the date, time, and location of the hearing, as well as a copy of your petition for modification.
To be successful in this endeavor, you must adequately prepare for the child support modification hearing. Gather relevant pieces of evidence to support your claim and work on your testimony with your petition as your guide. If the court grants the change, you must send a stamped copy of the new child support order to the other parent and then file a Certificate of Mailing with the circuit clerk to prove that you’ve done this.