Divorced and separated parents, for the most part, understand that they have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. Of course, for many, it is a moral responsibility that exists regardless of the law. Regardless of a parent’s moral compass, Illinois law recognizes the right of a child to expect support from both parents, and, in the vast majority of cases, will require a non-custodial parent—or the one without primary residential responsibility—to make support payments to the other parent for the child.
Calculations and Responsibilities
A previous post on this blog discussed, in detail, the formula used by family courts to determine the amount of support to be paid. While other factors are to be considered, the courts primarily use the paying parent’s net income and the number of children to be supported in making the determination. Circumstantial factors may allow the court to deviate from the calculated amount, but any deviations must be supported by findings of fact.
Can I Ask for a Change?
The law in Illinois recognizes that the lives of everyone involved will continue to change regardless of the existence of a child support order and that the order may need to be modified at time to ensure it continues to address the family’s needs. Either parent—or other party, as appropriate—may seek to have the order modified if he or she can show:
- Substantial changes in circumstances, including job loss, parental relocation, remarriage, child reaching age 18, and more; or
- That an unaddressed need exists regarding the child’s health care.
In addition, either party may also seek a modification if a recalculation based on the formula provided in the law would result in at least a 20 percent change from the existing order. The change must also be at least $10 per month. If the inconsistency between the new calculation and the current order is due to a existing deviation applied by the court, and the situational basis for the deviation is unchanged, the modification is not likely to be considered necessary.
If you have questions about child support order modifications, contact an experienced Orland Park family law attorney at Kezy & Associates. Our team will meet with you to discuss your case and assist you in reviewing your available options. We are prepared to work within the law to help pursue the outcome that best meets your family’s needs. Call 708-518-8200 for more information or to schedule your free consultation.