Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD.

How Do I Modify My Child Support?

By Ann Fisher

Child support is established by the courts in order to provide financial support to the custody parent with the cost of raising the child(ren). Often times the financial situations and parenting time changes as the children grow up; however, the support order does not automatically adjust to account for those changes.  When there is a change in the circumstances that the initial order was based upon, a custodial parent may wonder how difficult it would be to modify their child support order.

There is one big question that needs to be asked and answered before a custodial parent should ask the Court for a modification to an existing child support order: Has there been a change in the parties’ income or parenting time?

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the next step is to determine if the current support order is off by at least 20 percent when the child support statute is applied to the parties’ specific situation. However, the difference must not be less than ten dollars per month in order for a modification to be considered. It is also possible that the original order purposefully did not follow the Illinois Child Support statute (750 ILC 5/505) because of an intentional deviation from Illinois child support guideline, in which case those circumstances must also be considered. For example, the Court will apply the Illinois child support statute unless the Court makes a finding that application of the guidelines would be inappropriate, after considering the best interests of the child and evidence which should be considered for:

(A) the financial resources and needs of the child;

(B) the financial resources and needs of the parents;

(C) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage or civil union not been

dissolved; and

(D) the physical and emotional condition of the child and his or her educational needs.

For example, if a custodial parent was awaiting the sale of a business to help in a larger child support payment, the court may enter a smaller child support payment until the sale is completed.

If your situation has not changed it will be more difficult to get the court to consider a new child support order. However, if either parent feels the current order of support is off by 20 percent or more, they can petition for a change if 36 months have passed since the most recent order was entered.  Child support orders entered prior to July 1, 2017 are calculated under the old child support calculation. If a change in the current child support order is warranted, the new order will be calculated under the existing child support statute.

Do you feel that a change in circumstances may put you in line to see if you can modify your child support order? The family law attorneys at Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD can help you determine your rights within the governing statute. Contact us today to discuss your case by clicking on our Free Case Evaluation button below.

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