Child Support in Illinois – How and When Can a Child Support Order Be Modified?
When a couple has a child together – be they married or not – both parents are legally obligated to provide financial support. Child support orders are the legal manifestation of that obligation, and they outline how much should be paid (generally on a monthly basis). Yet, often, these orders are set up when a child is young, or when a couple first divorces. What happens when life circumstances change?
When the Needs of a Child Have Changed
Children are constantly growing, changing, and evolving. It only makes sense that their needs change, too. Yet not all changes constitute a modification to a child support order. Generally, the shift in needs must be fairly significant. For example, if a child is accepted to an elite educational program, the receiving parent may seek a modification to help cover the tuition. Likewise, if a child is diagnosed with a medical condition or illness and needs extensive medical treatment, a modification may be requested.
Alternatively, the paying parent may also seek a modification for the evolving needs of a child. If, for example, a non-minor child is still receiving support but then marries, the supporting parent could request a modification. If you pay child support and believe that a modification may be warranted because of changing needs of your child, contact an experienced attorney for assistance.
When a Supporting Parent's Circumstances Have Changed
Supporting parents are not immune to significant life changes. They may become disabled because of an accident or an illness, be laid off of work, lose their business, or suffer some other ill fate that negatively affects their income. If significant enough to impede their ability to pay the ordered child support amount, supporting parents should seek modification. It is critical that the parent do this at the very first sign of trouble since failure to pay may result in serious consequences, including jail time.
Seeking a Modification to Your Child Support Order
Whether you are a receiving parent, or a supporting one, there are certain steps that must be taken to modify your child support order. This can be a complex process that requires you to prove that a significant change has occurred. Get experienced the assistance you need and reduce the risk of common missteps with help from an experienced family law attorney.
At MKFM Law, we recognize that circumstances change, children grow, and life happens. When it affects your ability to pay support, or your child's needs for support, our DuPage County family law attorneys can help you navigate the legal complexities of a child support order modification. Call us at 630-665-7300 and ask for your initial consultation today.