Substantial Changes in Circumstances: Exploring Child Support Modification in Illinois

Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorneyUnder the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), Section 505 is fully dedicated to the provisions and penalties of compliance to court-sanctioned child support orders. With upwards of 50 percent of American children witnessing the breakdown of their parents' marriage as well as the family dynamic, family law discussions involving child support and visitation schedules may very well reign as the primary focus of a family’s divorce.

As parents, attorneys, and the judicial system work diligently to ensure the child’s best interests are represented, decisions made at the time of the divorce may not remain copacetic with the original order, as the future can be uncertain.

Under Illinois statute, either parent can petition the court for a modification of child support in the event of substantial changes in circumstances. The Illinois family courts define these instances of change in income level, new medical or disability issues, the ratio of cost of living, changes in a child’s needs, or in response to new Illinois child support guidelines.

As mentioned, either the non-custodial or custodial parent can petition the court for a modification of the original child support order but it is important to note the burden of truth and reasoning for the petition falls to the feet of the petitioning parent. It is also important to remember that if successful, a modification has these three underlying factors:

  • Reductions are not retroactive,
  • Increases can be retroactive,
  • Credit for overpayments may not be for the full amount.

If you are considering petitioning the court for a child support modification, in Illinois time is of the essence due to the above-mentioned factors. Another consideration to remember is even if you and your former spouse have verbally agreed to a rearrangement of terms, even the slightest of modifications require a judge's signature. It is also not in the best interest of either parent to satisfy their child support order with these newly agreed terms until the modifications have been signed off on by an Illinois circuit court judge.

If you are considering petitioning for a child support modification, the experienced Hinsdale child support attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio offer residents within DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties a free consultation. Call our offices today to schedule yours.


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