Modify and Adjust Child Support Orders

Make changes in Child Support to keep up with big changes in your circumstances.
It's not uncommon for circumstances to change that may require the child support order to be adjusted. First things first, if you feel like your child support needs to be adjusted, try talking with the parent of the child and coming to a new arrangement that way.

Proving a Change in Circumstances

For whatever reason, regardless of whether you and your spouse agree, you will need to go to court in order to modify your child support agreement. Before doing that, remember that unless you can make a strong case for a major change in circumstances, it's not worth asking the course to modify it.

Here are just a few of the more common examples that would get the court's attention in order to make them consider modifying the order.

  • Medical Emergencies
  • Loss of Income
  • Increase in Income
  • Change in the Law
  • Changes in the child's circumstances (such as an unexpected illness)
  • One child becoming emancipated or turning 18.

Generally, for a change in circumstance to be considered in court, it needs something that is out of your control. For instance, if you are paying child support because you were the higher earning spouse at the time of the divorce, but are suddenly laid off from your job, this would be considered a significant and unforeseen change that the court may look on favorably.

However, let us consider another scenario. Say you suddenly quit your job, or worse yet, get yourself fired deliberately (maybe in an effort to change your circumstances) it is unlikely the court would see this as an unforeseeable change in circumstances.

For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (312) 757-8082 now!

What WILL NOT Work in Court

Not everything will sway a judge to change an existing support order. As is the case in all things related to children in the courtroom, the court always has the child's best interest in mind when making a decision. Though divorce can be an intense and demanding time emotionally, it's best to make sure the reasons for modifying court-ordered support keep your child's well-being in mind. If the following examples sound familiar to your circumstances, you might want to think twice before committing the time and resources to modifying your child support.

  • Being denied visitation rights. While the court will enforce the visitation rights agreed upon in the original custody hearing, they are unlikely to make changes to your support order as a result.
  • The custodial parent legally moving the child without violating the custody agreements (parental responsibility and parental time), would have no impact on the court's decision to modify a support order.

It is worth repeating that any legitimate changes in circumstances won't change the need to pay support automatically. This includes when your child turns 18 unless that specific date has been laid out in your child support agreement. If you feel that there has been a life change that necessitates modifying support, act sooner rather than later.

Are you ready to move forward? Call (312) 757-8082 to schedule a strategy session with one of our attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often is child support reviewed in Illinois?

Child support is reviewed every three years in Illinois. But, it can be reviewed sooner if there is a need. Or, if child support is owed, you can file for child support enforcement.

How do I file a motion to modify child support in Illinois?

To file a motion to modify, file the paperwork with your local clerk of courts. The paperwork can be found on the Illinois courts website.

How do you prove a substantial change in circumstances?

A substantial change in circumstances includes things like losing a job, getting a raise, or another significant financial change. This can be proven through an explanation of the situation and relevant paperwork.

How can I lower my child support?

If your financial situation has gone down, you can file to lower child support. Child support services can help with this too.

How do I stop child support in Illinois?

To end child support in Illinois, you need to file a Motion to Terminate Child Support. Again, this is filed with your local clerk of courts.

Does child support go down if the father has another baby in Illinois?

Child support will likely go down if the paying party has another child. It goes down because the child support calculation takes into account other obligations. And, if the other child needs support, they deserve to get what they can as well.