Many people who have been through a child custody and support proceeding breathe a sigh of relief when the process is over. It is often a long, stressful, and emotional time for all parties involved. However, there are times when the issue deserves to be revisited, since a child support obligation may need to be changed for one reason or another. Illinois law provides for the modification of child support payments when a specified standard is met under certain circumstances.
The main reason that a party asks the court to change an award of child support is because something changed either for the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent, or the child. In order to consider a request for modification of a previously awarded child support payment, the law in the state of Illinois requires that the party seeking the modification demonstrates a significant change in circumstances since the time of the last child support order.
What is Considered Significant?
The requesting party has the burden of offering evidence to prove that significant change has occurred since the last award of child support. Many circumstances and contributing factors may come into play here, but some of the more common examples of circumstances that have sufficiently established significant change include the following:
- The non-custodial parent’s income has increased due to a raise or obtaining a new, higher paying job;
- The non-custodial parent’s income has decreased due to the loss of his or her employment or disability or other condition affecting his or her ability to continue to work;
- The child’s needs have changed or otherwise increased, demanding a higher amount of financial contribution from the non-custodial parent;
- The child is suffering from a disability that demands more financial support;
- The child reached the age of 18 years old or has graduated high school; or
- The child is no longer residing with the parent who was considered the custodial parent in the previous order for child support.
Petition for ModificationDepending on the circumstances, either a custodial or non-custodial parent may file a petition for modification of a child support order. For example, a non-custodial parent who finds themselves unemployed or underemployed since the last child support order may no longer be able to afford the payment previously awarded. In order to get the matter before a judge in the appropriate jurisdiction, the party seeking the change in payments must file a Petition to Modify Child Support with the court. The Petition must allege a significant change in circumstances and demonstrate the change in detail.
Child Custody and Support AttorneyIf you are a parent who is seeking a change in a previously ordered child support payment amount, it is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in child support matters. Please feel free to contact the attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation regarding your matter. We are happy to represent clients in Cook and DuPage Counties, and the surrounding areas. We have offices located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville.