Illinois law provides the ability to modify child support. Normally, parents who want to modify a child support order find themselves in one of these two situations:
- The child support order is entered against the parent who wants to modify it and that parent believes the amount of child support is too high;
- The child support order is entered against the other parent and the parent who wants to modify the order believes it is too low or, the parent who has the support order entered against them has changed jobs a new order needs to be entered.
In order to seek a change in child support the person petitioning the court must show the court that a “substantial change in circumstances” has occurred; or,
- upon a showing of an inconsistency of at least 20%, but no less than $10 per month, between the amount of the existing order and the amount of child support that results from application of the guidelines specified in Section 505 of this Act unless the inconsistency is due to the fact that the amount of the existing order resulted from a deviation from the guideline amount and there has not been a change in the circumstances that resulted in that deviation; or
- upon a showing of a need to provide for the health care needs of the child under the order through health insurance or other means. In no event shall the eligibility for or receipt of medical assistance be considered to meet the need to provide for the child’s health care needs.
One issue that comes up with some frequency is voluntary termination of employment. Often times parents who are not represented by an attorney will terminate their job without thinking about what happens to their child support obligation. For example, they may quit their job in order to move to live with or be closer to a new significant other or, to pursue an education. However, if their rate of pay is cut the court may refuse to lower the amount of child support ordered each month and even, hold the obligor in contempt of court.
As with anything dealing with courts and the law, having an attorney to represent you in a child support modification can be the critical element. They can provide you with sound advice and present your case to the judge using their training and expertise. Contact us today to set up a consultation!
Assuming that a judge does agree that a modification is in order, they will start by looking to the statutory child support guidelines to determine what the amount should be.