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Modifying Child Support Under the New Illinois Child Support Law

Posted on in Child Support

Illinois child support law, Wheaton child support lawyer, parental responsibility, parenting time, modifying child supportThe Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has undergone significant changes in recent years. In 2016, the law was changed to reflect the state of modern parenting by replacing terms like “custody” and “visitation” with “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.”

In 2017, the law saw another major revision that completely redefined how child support payments are determined in Illinois.

Following this change, which went into effect on July 1, 2017, child support is no longer calculated using only one parent’s income. Now, the net income of both parents will be considered, and the amount of each parent’s parenting time and parental responsibility may also have an effect on the amount of child support owed by one parent to another.

What if I Already Pay or Receive Child Support?

While the updated IMDMA applies to parents whose divorce was finalized after July 1, 2017, parents who already have an existing child support order that was entered before this date may be curious about how this change to the law will affect their situation.

However, the implementation of this new law by itself is not a reason to modify child support. Any modification to a child support order requires the parent seeking this modification to demonstrate that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.”

This means that if a parent wishes to change the amount of child support he or she pays or receives, then the parent will need to show that something has changed in the life of the parents or the children that makes this modification necessary.

Types of changes can include:

  • Increases in income or financial ability. Either parent may have been promoted, resulting in an increase in income, or they may have increased their financial ability in other ways, including winning the lottery, receiving an inheritance, or termination of other support obligations.
  • Decreases in income or financial ability. If either parent loses their job or experiences reduced financial ability due to an increase in expenses, this can affect the amount of child support. However, voluntary changes in employment must be made in good faith; a parent cannot quit his or her job or accept a lower income in order to reduce a child support obligation.
  • Changing needs of the child. Children’s health care or educational expenses may change significantly as they grow and develop; therefore, child support may need to be modified to reflect these changing needs.

The IMDMA also allows for child support to be modified if there has been a change of at least 20 percent between the amount of existing child support payments and what payments would be under the current law.

Parents will only be eligible for this type of change if they are receiving child support enforcement services from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and if at least three years have passed since the child support order was originally entered or when it was last modified.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Attorney

If you have any questions about how the new Illinois child support law applies to your situation or whether your circumstances qualify for a change to the amount of child support you pay or receive, you should speak to an experienced family law attorney.

The divorce lawyers at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand the law, make sure it is applied correctly, and advocate for you as you seek any modifications. Contact a Wheaton child support lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule an initial consultation.




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