How Do I Modify My Child Support Payment if I Lose My Job?

A job loss can be especially stressful if you are responsible for paying child support each month. It is always assumed by Illinois courts that you are able to meet your payments. So if your financial situation alters due to your recent unemployment, it is important that you consult a proficient Tazewell County child support lawyer at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., who will help you file a petition for a payment modification. Read on to learn more. 

How are child support payment amounts determined in Illinois?

In July 2017, Illinois adopted a new approach to calculating child support, called the Income Shares Model. The new statute recognizes the incomes of both parties, instead of just one, to reach a fair amount for the support of the child. With this, the amount you pay or are entitled to receive is determined by a formula that considers the net income of each parent and the number of children supported. 

Do I still have to pay child support if I lose my job?

Your responsibility to pay child support does not automatically stop when you lose your job. If you stop paying, owed payments will continue to add up until the court changes the order. And for the court to modify your order, you must file a petition explaining the change in your circumstances as soon as possible.

How can I modify my child support payment?

An Illinois court may reduce your child support obligation if you experience a job loss or significant decrease in income. However, the reason for this decrease in income is a significant factor in the court’s decision. For example, if you were fired due to gross negligence or criminal behavior, you will be ineligible for a modification. Additionally, if you voluntarily quit your job and make little attempt to reestablish your employment, the courts will unlikely be sympathetic toward you. Consequently, if your unemployment is deemed to be intentional, the court will likely calculate your obligation based on your potential income rather than your actual income. 

A helpful tip while waiting for word on a modification is that the order of support can be deducted from both unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation. But this should only be a temporary solution, especially if those payments are less than the amount of the original order.

If you require further information, do not hesitate in reaching out to a talented Tazewell County family law attorney today. 

Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm

At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the divorce or family law matter you are facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.

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