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Modifying a Divorce Judgment Under Illinois’ New Child Support Law

Posted on in Child Support

Schaumburg child support attorneys, divorce judgment child support law, divorce judgment modification, parental responsibilitiesWhen parents complete the divorce process, their final divorce decree will specify how parental responsibilities will be allocated, the parents’ schedule for parenting time with their children, and the amount of child support that one parent will pay to the other. But while this is meant to be a permanent agreement (or, if parents were unable to reach an agreement, a judgment by the court), the law recognizes that people’s circumstances change, and a divorce decree may need to be modified at some point in the future.

Following the implementation of Illinois’ updated child support law, which went into effect in July 2017, parents may wonder if their divorce decree should be updated to reflect the new methods for calculating the amount of child support payments. However, before petitioning the court, they should understand when these types of modifications are allowed.

Modifications Require a Substantial Change in Circumstances

Illinois law states that a child support order may only be modified if the petitioner (the person requesting the modification) can show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” These types of changes can take a number of different forms, including:

  • A change in either parent’s employment status. These types of changes must occur in good faith; that is, a parent cannot quit his or her job or accept a lower paying job in order to reduce the amount of child support they are obligated to pay;
  • An impairment to either parent’s present or future earning ability, such as an injury, illness, or disability;
  • The remarriage of either parent, depending on how the marriage affects a parent’s financial obligations and overall financial situation;
  • A change in children’s needs, such as medical treatment or educational requirements; and
  • An adjustment to the parenting time schedule or the allocation of parental responsibilities.

The law makes a point to specify that the update to the child support law does not constitute a significant change in circumstances, so parents cannot modify their child support order simply because the amount of child support would change under the new law.

However, the law does allow parents to modify child support without a substantial change in circumstances if it has been at least 36 months since their child support order was entered or last modified, and there is at least a 20 percent difference between the amount of child support in their existing order and the amount that would be determined using the current child support guidelines. This type of modification is only applicable if a parent receives child support enforcement services from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Contact a Schaumburg Child Support Lawyer

If you believe your child support order should be changed to reflect your current circumstances, the skilled attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you determine whether you meet the requirements for a significant change in circumstances and advocate for your family’s best interests in court. Contact our Schaumburg child support attorneys at 847-995-9999 to schedule an initial consultation.




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