Modifying child support in Illinois

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Friday, July 12, 2019.

The rules dealing with child support in Illinois were revised in 2017. Judges in the state now look at the incomes of both parents after determining how much money is needed to take care of the child’s basic needs. Prior to the 2017 law, only the income of the obligor was considered when child support decisions were made. However, obligors with child support orders that were issued prior to the new law’s passage must still establish that either their circumstances or the needs of the child have changed significantly if they want the amount they pay each month to be reduced.

Child support modifications may be ordered if the obligor has lost their job or has a new job with a lower salary. Obligees could request a modification if the obligor’s income has increased or the child’s educational or health care expenses have risen. When judges in Illinois determine that a new child support arrangement is appropriate, the amount ordered will be calculated under the provisions of the 2017 law.

Judges only order child support modifications when the change in circumstances is substantial, and the court generally conducts a thorough investigation before any new arrangements are put into place. When the court determines that an obligor’s unemployment or underemployment is voluntary, judges may base their decision on what they could potentially earn instead of the amount they actually earn.

Experienced family law attorneys in Illinois could explain how child support was calculated in the state both before and after the 2017 law went into effect. They could then help payers and recipients to determine whether or not pursuing a modification is prudent based on a substantial change in their circumstances.

Source: The Illinois General Assembly, “Sec. 505: Child Support, Contempt and Penalties”, accessed on July 12, 2019

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