Child support calculations are not arbitrary. They are calculated based on several factors like each parent’s income, the needs of the child and the standard of living that would have been available if the parents were married. Then, after also taking into consideration Illinois child support guidelines, a judge will set the amount of support to be paid.
One thing many parents will discover, however, is that the factors upon which support orders are initially based can and do change over time. In these situations, it may be wise and necessary to consider modifying child support orders.
Support modifications are available to keep child support payments sufficient and appropriate over time. Unlike other family legal matters, child support obligations can last for many years. So if you or your child has experienced a significant change, a modification may be appropriate.
However, you should note that modifications are generally reserved for situations in which the changes in circumstances prompting the request are significant. A small pay increase or decrease, a child’s new hobby or a temporary illness may not be grounds for a modification.
Factors that very well could warrant a modification include situations in which a parent has lost a job or when one parent no longer has primary custody; if a child is seriously injured and needs ongoing care or if a parent becomes disabled, requesting a child support modification may be wise.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking there is nothing they can do about a child support order that is no longer indicative of current circumstances. However, rather than accept less than you deserve or miss payments because you can no longer afford them, it can be crucial to explore the options for modification with your attorney. With legal action and support, you can pursue a fair and satisfactory result.