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Modifying or Making Changes to Child Support Orders

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County family law attorney, child support ordersIn Illinois, and in several other states, child support is paid to the custodial parent. Child support is meant to cover the bare essentials, which include the cost of food, clothing and shelter. The amount of child support you are required to pay is based on your net income and the amount of children you have.

If you are a party to a child support order, one of the many questions going through your head may be, "Can this child support order ever be modified?" Depending on the circumstances of your case, it is possible to reduce the amount of child support you are paying

Modifying the Child Support Order

Modifying a child support order is no easy task, but it can be done. First, if you are having trouble making payments, you should speak to the custodial parent and see if you both can reach an agreement. Should you both reach an agreement, you need to go to court and get a judge’s approval. If the agreement reached permits you to pay an amount of money that is substantially lower than the percentages permitted under Illinois law, you will have to explain the reasons why it is so low.

Second, under Illinois law, you can ask the court to modify a child support order under special circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • The non-custodial parent's income has increased;

  • The non-custodial parent's income has decreased because of job loss, health issues or disability;

  • The child’s needs have increased;

  • The fact that the child is 18 years old and is not still in school; or

  • The child is emancipated or does not live with the custodial parent.

If any of these situations apply to you, there is a strong chance a judge will grant you a temporary or permanent modification to the child support order. If the changes are temporary, they may only last for a few months. If the changes are permanent, then they will be in effect until you no longer have to pay child support.  

Remember, if you are falling behind on your child support payments, you should not delay in seeking a modification because payments that you do not make are considered in arrears, and they will not go away until they are paid. A judge cannot make modifications to arrears and you cannot discharge them in bankruptcy. 

Consult an Attorney

If you are having trouble making your child support payments, you should contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney who can evaluate the circumstances of your case, advise you of the best course of action, and assist you in reducing your child support payments. Reach out to our skilled attorneys today for help.

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