Can I Reduce Child Support In Illinois?

Child Support

Can I Reduce Child Support In Illinois

How to reduce child child support in Illinois:

If you are paying child support that feels unaffordable, you are not alone. Many non-custodial parents face a similar issue. Perhaps you’ve recently become unemployed, or you might have seen an unexpected reduction in income. Whatever the case may be, if things have changed since the entry of the child support order, you may be able to change the amount of your child support payments. 

These are just two common reasons why someone may need a child support modification in Illinois. If you’re interested in learning whether you can reduce child support in Illinois, continue reading to learn more.

Child Support Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, both parents are responsible for providing support to the child because Illinois now uses an “Income Shares Model” for calculating the payment of child support. When determining child support payments, the judge will take both parents’ incomes into account. These incomes are then used to calculate an appropriate child support payment..

It’s important to note that while the non-custodial parent will usually pay child support, either parent may be ordered by the judge to provide health insurance, which will likely depend on the options available. The amount of health insurance costs for the minor child is usually factored in the child support payment. For example, if the noncustodial parent covers the health insurance, a portion of the health insurance cost would be subtracted from the total child support owed; likewise, if the custodial parent pays the cost of health insurance, then the non-custodial parent would pay an additional amount to the custodial parent.

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

Even if you need to reduce child support in Illinois, you should never stop paying or sending less than the required amount until you have received approval from the judge. There are various consequences of failing to pay child support, including:

Contempt of Court: Any non-custodial parent that fails to pay child support may be in contempt of court. As a result, they may receive up to 6 months in jail time. 

Wage Garnishment: If the non-custodial parent does not pay child support, the custodial parent can request to have their income taken from their employee earnings through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services. 

Driver’s License Suspension: Any parent that is more than 90 days past due on child support payments in Illinois may have their licenses suspended by the court. 

Criminal Conviction: Any paying parent that fails to pay child support a second time is subject to a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail time.

Can You Reduce Child Support in Illinois?

Yes, it’s possible to reduce child support payments in Illinois. However, child support payments cannot be changed without going to the courts. A judge will need to enter a new court order for there to be a modification. Even if you and your ex have “agreed” to change child support, you still need to enter an agreed order.

With that said, either parent can go to the court to ask them to modify the amount of child support. However, there must have been a substantial change in circumstances since the last support order. 

What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances for Child Support in Illinois?

A substantial change in circumstances refers to a significant alteration in the financial or personal situation of either parent since the last child support order was issued in Illinois. This change must be substantial enough to warrant a modification in the child support payments. Some examples of substantial changes in circumstances may include:

Unemployment: If you’ve become unemployed since the initial child support order, this is a substantial change that will allow you to reduce your child support payments. 

Change of Income: If there was a significant decrease in your income since the initial child support order, this is a reason to request a reduction. It’s important to note that this change must be considered substantially different compared to the original child support order. 

Health Problems or Disability: Experiencing health problems or a disability can have a significant impact on a person’s income. A parent whose health has worsened or has developed a disability may not be able to work as many hours, not work at all, or maintain the same level of parenting time.

How Do I Lower My Child Support?

To lower your child support payments in Illinois, you will need to go through the court system and request a modification. It is essential to demonstrate that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order was issued. 

It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a lawyer experienced in child support matters who can guide you through the process, prepare the necessary legal paperwork, and gather the relevant evidence to support your modification request.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Getting your child support payments reduced means going before a judge. Having a lawyer can provide you with the right support and direction when starting the modification process. Even if you have an agreement, you need to have a proper agreed order prepared, and having the help of a lawyer can save you the headaches of self-navigation. An Agreement must always be approved by a judge. Unfortunately, we know too many people that made “agreements” and suffered serious consequences because they did not have a judge approve of the agreement.

A lawyer experienced with child support-related issues can help you prepare for the hearing by filing a modification request on your behalf and gathering all of the necessary evidence to support your modification request. The lawyer will gather pertinent information, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and other necessary financial information.

An experienced child support modification lawyer will provide you with invaluable support by helping you reduce your child support payments. We will file all of the legal paperwork necessary, including your Illinois child support modification form, and ensure that you have a fighting chance at getting your child support payments reduced.

FAQ About Child Support Modification

Q: How often can child support be modified in Illinois?

A: In Illinois, child support can be modified whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order. There is no specific limit on the number of times child support can be modified as long as there is a valid reason for the modification. It is important to note that modifications can only be made through the court system, and a judge needs to enter a new court order for the modification to take effect.

Q: Can I get child support reduced in Illinois if I had another child?

A: Yes, having another child can be considered a substantial change in circumstances in Illinois, which may allow you to seek a reduction in child support payments. When determining child support, the court takes into account the financial obligations of the non-custodial parent, including the support provided to other children. However, it is important to note that the court will assess the specific circumstances and consider various factors before deciding on a modification. Seeking legal advice from an experienced child support lawyer can help you navigate the process and present your case effectively.

Q: How long does a child support modification take in Illinois?

A: The length of time it takes to complete a child support modification in Illinois can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the court’s schedule, and the availability of the parties involved. Generally, it may take several months from the time you file a modification request until a new court order is issued. The process involves filing the necessary paperwork, providing supporting documentation, attending court hearings, and awaiting the judge’s decision. Engaging the services of a knowledgeable child support modification lawyer can help streamline the process and ensure all requirements are met efficiently.