HomeBlogChild SupportWhen Can Child Support Obligations be Modified in Illinois?

When Can Child Support Obligations be Modified in Illinois?

Your original child support orders may have served you and your children well, but circumstances change, and Illinois courts recognize that child support modifications are sometimes in order. There are different instances when child support modifications are considered appropriate, and better understanding the particulars can help you better understand your own best options. Having an experienced Chicago child support attorney in your corner is always to your advantage. 

Making the Modification through the Court

The child support obligation that the court ordered at the time of your divorce remains in effect until it is officially modified by the court. This means that – even if you and your ex are in complete agreement regarding the modification – the court can only enforce the child support orders it has on record. As such, if your ex changes their mind on the matter, you will have no legal recourse, and if you’re the parent who pays child support, you could be found in contempt of court. If you and your children’s other parent are in agreement on the matter, it’s important to make it official with the court. 

Motivating Factors

Child support orders are generally only reevaluated by a party presenting the issue to the court – at which time any evolving needs and resources can be reconsidered. There are, however, instances when Illinois will take the matter into consideration outside of these parameters. Some circumstances that tend to warrant child support modifications, which are called substantial changes in circumstances, include the following:

  • When the parent who pays child support experiences a significant increase or decrease in income
  • When the parent who pays child support or who receives it suffers a total job loss or disability
  • When there is a significant change in a child’s needs, which can include outgrowing the need for certain physical or mental healthcare expenses or requiring more extensive help in this arena

While a small change that would not alter the child support obligation considerably is not likely to reach the level of requiring a child support modification, a more significant shift can. 

Bad Faith Efforts

If the court believes the parent who pays child support made a change in employment as a direct means of decreasing their child support obligation, the court is highly unlikely to be moved. Any reduction in a parent’s income must be in good faith, which can include an involuntary pay decrease or a reduction in hours that are associated with further education and career advancement. 

An Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Can Help You Explore Your Best Options

The distinguished Chicago divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, are on your side and here to help you pursue a beneficial child support modification that honors your children’s financial rights. Our legal team has the experience, keen legal skill, and resources you need to bring your strongest case, so please don’t put off reaching out and contacting us for more information about how we can help today. 



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