Tag Archives: child support modification

Il divorce lawyerChild support is awarded during divorce, or when no marriage occurred between two parents, based on the following criteria:

  • Child’s needs, including education, medical, food and clothing, and other necessities
  • Child’s financial resources
  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s other financial resources
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Number of children the couple has together

When a court makes a decision about child support, that support order is rarely set in stone. If the divorce occurred when the child was seven, there is a very small chance that the order will not be modified over the next decade as the child grows to 18, and then goes to college. Modification orders can be made every few years, or “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances,” according to 750 ILCS 5 Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A substantial change in circumstances may constitute any of the following examples:

  • The paying parent gets a large raise.
  • The custodial parent loses their job.
  • The paying parent gets in a major accident.
  • The child begins attending private school.
  • The child reaches an age when he or she no longer requires child care.
  • The custodial parent has access to significantly more financial resources.

Modifying Child Support

Generally, remarrying does not have any effect on child support modification—after all, it is only the financial obligation of each parent to pay for their child’s needs. However, in a few rare cases, courts have sided with the paying parent’s argument that, because of a new spouse’s finances, the custodial parent had increased access to this shared financial resource. It could be argued that a spouse who remarries may be able to tap into the finances of his or her new spouse, using these resources to pay for food, clothing, housing, insurance, and education for their child.

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Il family lawyerOf the 13.4 million custodial single U.S. parents, half have a legal or informal child support agreement with the other parent. Child support is used to pay for food, rent or mortgage payments, education, clothing, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and everything else that a child depends upon. As a parent’s financial situation changes, they may have a decreased or increased ability to pay child support or to financially support their child as the custodial parent. Moreover, child support may need to be modified due to a change in the child’s circumstances, such as needing cancer treatment, or no longer needing as many hours per week in childcare once they are enrolled in public school.

As children grow, parents get promotions or lose their jobs, families suffer unexpected medical emergencies, and other normal life events unfold throughout the years, a child support agreement that once made sense, may no longer be relevant. As either the custodial or paying parent, you may be able to modify the child support agreement if you can prove to the court that there have been substantial changes in circumstances for you, the other parent, or the child. A DuPage County family law attorney can help you petition the court for this much-needed modification.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, child support is eligible for review for modification every three years. Or, a review can be done when a significant change occurs in the child’s needs or the financial ability of either parent. These changes in circumstances include the following:

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Child Support Attorney Hinsdale IL.jpgOften times, many parents rely on child support payments to help purchase much-needed things for their children, like clothes, shoes and other necessities. In Illinois, the parent who the child spends the majority of time with is considered the “custodial” parent. This parent may ask for child support to help cover costs for the child.

When a parent is ordered by an Illinois court to pay child support, he or she has been determined that they are financially able to pay, so they are expected to contribute to the child’s expenses. If they have not established that they are not able to pay the ordered about of child support and they do not pay, they could face serious consequences, causing you much financial stress and worry.

However, there are steps you can take if your ex has not paid their portion of support. Here are a few suggestions you can follow if you are in this predicament:

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Illinois family lawyerIf you are going through a divorce and have children, child support is likely at the top of your mind. Since there are many misconceptions about this topic, we have compiled this list of common questions about child support in Illinois. Once you read through the answers to these questions, you’ll become more familiar with the basics of child support and how it may affect you.

1. Which parent is responsible for making child support payments?

Although the answer to this question varies from case to case, the parent who has the most parenting time with the children typically receives child support payments. If both parents have equal parenting time, they may not have the obligation to pay child support to one another.

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Illinois divorce lawyerIn many divorce cases, an ex-spouse is required to pay child support. If your ex-spouse owes you child support and you have remarried, you may be wondering whether your child support payments will change. The answer is that your remarriage may have an effect on the amount and duration of child support you will receive.

Child Support Calculations in Illinois

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act dictates how child support works in the state. It uses the net income of the non-custodial or parent who does not have legal custody of the child and the number of children they are responsible for to determine how much the non-custodial parent must pay in child support.

In addition, the court considers other factors such as the financial resources of the child, their education needs, the child’s standard of living before the divorce, and the needs of the custodial and non-custodial parents. Although both parents may agree on a certain amount for child support payments, their agreement must meet minimum requirements and be approved by the court.

A New Spouse’s Income and Its Affect on Child Support

In the past, a new spouse’s income did not play a role in changing child support payments because child support was viewed as the financial obligation of both parents and based on a child’s best interests. That being said, new spouses or step parents were not legally obligated to support their stepchild.

However, in more recent years, Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that a court may consider the income of a parent’s new spouse in determining a child support amount.

The case placed emphasis on both parents’ financial obligations to assist their child with college-related expenses. It brought light to the fact that all financial resources available to parents should be considered when calculating child support payments.

Today, the income of a new spouse can serve as a valid reason to alter an existing child support agreement. This is especially true if the new spouse’s income is exceptionally high because their additional income allows the parent to meet their needs and as a result have more money available to pay child support.

Contact Our DuPage County Child Support Lawyers

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