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My Ex Got a Raise. Am I Entitled to More Child Support?

 Posted on April 03, 2024 in Child Support

DuPage County, IL child support lawyerFor many couples who get divorced in Illinois, child support can be one of the hardest parts of the process. A court that orders an ex-spouse to pay child support will do so after considering several factors, such as:

  • Who has the majority of physical custody, known as “parenting time” in Illinois

  • The net income of that parent

  • The net income of the other parent

  • If spousal support, or alimony, is also being paid

  • The child’s or children’s needs

Because of this, it is important to retain a divorce lawyer who understands family law and can help you navigate the legal system when it comes to child support.

Does Making More Money Mean Paying More Child Support?

An issue often raised by those receiving child support is what happens when the party paying the support — called the payor — receives an increase in his or her income. Does that mean the payee should then receive more child support? The answer, as with most legal questions, is “it depends.” 

Making adjustments to child support payments is called child support modification. This article will discuss how child support is calculated and when modification may occur.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Sometimes divorcing parents may calculate between themselves how much child support one parent — usually the non-custodial parent — should pay the other. In that case, a court will usually accept the agreement and make it binding on the parties.

If the parents do not agree, however, a court will calculate child support based on five main variables:

  • The child’s financial needs and resources

  • The parents’ financial needs and resources

  • The child’s emotional and physical condition

  • The child’s educational needs

  • The standard of living the child would have if the parents remained married

If the non-custodial parent has limited financial means, a minimum monthly payment of $40 per month per child may be enforced.

What if My Ex Gets a Raise?

As a general practice, courts try not to make modifications to child support within the first three years. However, Illinois law allows for the modification in child support if there is “a substantial change in circumstances.” 

While this clause is fairly vague, the word “substantial” suggests that if your ex-spouse receives a fifty-cent raise, you probably should not expect any increase in child support payments. But if your spouse obtains an executive position paying a significantly higher salary, you may be able to petition the court for child support modification.

Other Causes for Child Support Modification

Keep in mind that your ex-spouse can also petition the court to modify child support payments. If you receive a significant increase in your income, for example, a judge might determine that less child support is needed. 

Other cases in which a non-custodial parent might ask a judge to lower the child support payments include:

  • The parent lost his or her job through no fault of their own

  • The child turns 18 and drops out of school

  • The child becomes emancipated

  • The child gets married or joins the military

Get a Free Consultation with a DuPage County, Illinois Divorce Lawyer

Child support and child support modification are complex legal issues that can seriously affect your and your child’s future. The best way to understand your options is to contact an experienced Wheaton, Illinois divorce attorney who can handle the ins and outs of family law. Dion Davi is a family lawyer who spent several years as an assistant state's attorney in DuPage County. Call Davi Law Group at 630-657-5052 for a free consultation today.

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