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How to Modify Your Child Support Order in Illinois

 Posted on January 24, 2023 in Family Law

Geneva Family Law AttorneyIf you are a divorced parent, the state of Illinois requires both you and your former spouse to contribute to your children’s financial needs. Every three years, the state will invite you to review and possibly modify your existing order for child support. But what if a child’s needs or your financial situation change substantially before then? In that case, you can petition the court to have the child support order modified. 

What Qualifies as a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

You may be a good candidate for a child support modification in a variety of situations. Some of the most common include:

  • Your child’s needs have changed considerably since the last order—a new health condition, for example—and you want your ex to help pay those added costs. 

  • The paying parent’s income has increased or decreased substantially. 

  • The receiving parent’s income has increased or decreased significantly. 

  • The child’s expenses, such as healthcare or schooling costs, are not being adequately met by the current order.

Changing Your Child Support Order

Any adjustment to your child support can only go back to the date your motion was filed, and not before. Therefore, it is important to file your request for a modification review as soon as you know you need one. The Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) generally handles child support modifications. However, you may want to work with an experienced family law attorney for help and to expedite the process.

Typically, within 30 days, DCSS will inform both parents whether or not their child support order qualifies for a modification review. If your order qualifies, DCSS will use the parents’ income, employment status, and other pertinent information to recalculate the expected amount of the child support payment. The agency will then notify you whether the child support payment has increased, decreased, or stayed the same.

What If You Disagree With the Results of the Review?

If your payment amount remains the same, you can ask for a redetermination by DCSS. If you have an administrative order, you can request an administrative hearing to contest it. If you have a judicial order, you can appear in court to contest the amount ordered. Remember, the hearing’s purpose is to determine whether the support payment amount is equitable based on the circumstances of the case and whether the paying parent is capable of paying the determined amount. If not, the support payment may be lowered by a finding of the hearing officer or the court.

Contact Our Kane County Child Support Lawyers

If your financial situation has changed, you can petition the court to modify an existing child support order. Whether it is your child’s circumstances that have changed, your former spouse’s, or your own, the skilled Geneva family law attorneys at Serrano Hanson have the experience and knowledge to obtain the most appropriate child support order going forward. Call 630-844-8781 for a confidential consultation.





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