Does Your Child Support Order Still Work for You?

child support, order modification, Illinois family law attorneProperly raising a child requires years of hard work on the part of parents. Children require time, attention, and love from their parents as they grow and learn about the world around them. In addition, raising a child requires quantifiable resources as well, as any parent subject to a child support order clearly understands. However, just as a child’s needs for care and attention may change over time, his or her financial requirements may also evolve. Likewise, a parent’s ability to provide financial support may change. Such situations may require a child support order modification to ensure that the needs and abilities of all involved parties continue to be appropriately considered.

Child Support Basics

Under Illinois law, a child support order is generally calculated based on the net income of the parent required to pay support. The calculation may be affected by circumstantial factors regarding the child, each parent, and the needs and resources of everyone involved. Considerations for medical care, educations expenses, and other shared costs may also be made, and once entered, the order becomes fully enforceable by law.

Grounds for Modification

An order for child support is created based on all of the information currently available to the court at the time. While reasonable anticipation of future needs may be possible, unforeseen changes can have a dramatic impact on the continued appropriateness of the order. Whether such changes are primarily related to the needs of the child or the ability of the parents to provide support, addressing them formally before the court can prevent issues of non-compliance.

In petitioning the court for a support order modification, a party must be able to show that substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Examples of a substantial change include:

  • The child was diagnosed with a serious medical condition requiring significant care;
  • A change in child custody arrangements;
  • The child turned 18 or graduated high school;
  • The supporting parent lost his or her job and has been unsuccessful in finding another one; or
  • A health condition or injury permanently affected the supporting parent’s earning ability.

If a modification is deemed appropriate by the court, a new calculation will be made accounting for the presented changes in circumstance.

Child support proceedings can be very complex and are often emotionally charged. Fortunately, a qualified lawyer can help you simplify the process and protect your rights regardless of your situation. Contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney today and put our knowledgeable legal team to work for you.

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