Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Modification of Illinois Child Support
Child support can be modified if a material change in the circumstances of the child or parent occurs.
What needs to be done in order to modify the amount of child support?
You need to file a petition in court and notify the nonmoving party (the child’s other parent). The court must be notified and an order entered modifying the child support obligation.
What does the moving party need to show?
An order for child support will be modified only upon a showing that a substantial change in circumstances has created an imbalance between the child's needs and the parent's support capabilities.
If you lose your job, that does not end your obligation to pay child support. You still need a court order modifying your obligations. Without a court order, your obligation to pay continues. On the flip side, if your ex now makes a lot more than they used to, it's your job to get into court and ask for an increase.
Can the parents simply agree to a change in the amount?
No. Parents cannot modify child support by agreement without court approval.
You cannot and should not rely on verbal agreements or assume that your ex will be understanding that your situation has changed. The only way to reduce or increase support or otherwise guarantee something to you is take your situation before a judge. To do otherwise is simply rolling the dice as these verbal agreements aren’t enforceable.
Consider the instance where, outside of court, a mother agrees to a reduction in child support with the father. Years later, the mother sues the father for years of unpaid child support and the father. As far as the court knows, the father owes that money because the child support order was never modified. Also, consider the case where a father is sued for 10 years of unpaid child support but his bank records only go back 6 years. Another reason why you should also save all of your bank account statements that show payments made as far back as the first payment if possible.
If you are looking to increase or decrease the amount paid for child support you need to get in to court ASAP. The best way do to that is with an experienced family law attorney in your corner. If you would like help finding a lawyer or just have questions, please contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential.
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, to find an attorney or obtain guidance for any Illinois legal matter, including Illinois child support cases. We are based in Chicago, but deal with child support matters from as far north as Lake County and as far south as St. Clair County and most places in between. Since 2001 our statewide network of experienced lawyers has helped thousands of people with family law matters. Please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.