When family law judges in Illinois issue child support orders, they base the monthly obligation on the combined net income of both of the parents using the income shares model. The Division of Child Support Services periodically reviews child support orders to ensure that the arrangements in place are consistent with state guidelines, and the agency sends letters to noncustodial and custodial parents every three years to inform them that they can request a review. If a review reveals that the income of the noncustodial parent or the needs of the child have changed significantly, child support orders may be modified.
Child support modification reviews
Parents who request a child support modification review in Illinois must complete and return a Certification of Income and Expenses form to the DCSS. This form is included in the packet that parents are sent when they request a child support modification review. The information provided on the form is then used by the DCSS to determine whether or not a modification is warranted. Parents are notified of the results of the review by mail.
Contesting the results of a modification review
Parents who disagree with the results of a child support modification review can request a redetermination or a hearing, but they are only given 30 days from the date of the review to make this request. If the child support order was issued by a judge, the modification hearing is held in a courtroom. During this hearing, parents can present evidence to show that they are facing a change in circumstances that is likely to be permanent.
Working with the DCSS
Noncustodial parents are ordered to pay child support to ensure that the needs of their children are met, but the monthly payment they are required to make can be modified if their situations change. The DCSS reviews financial information provided by both parents to determine whether a child support order should be modified, and either parent can request a hearing if they disagree with the agency’s decision.