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Does a job change necessitate child support modification?

If you are a non-custodial parent in Illinois, do you have to increase your child support payments if you change jobs? The answer is that it depends. Either you or your ex-spouse can petition for a change in child support payments if you meet specific criteria.

Petitioning for child support modification

Under family law, the courts will consider child support modification if you have a substantial change in circumstances. The amount of child support can either go up or down, but you must have a judge’s approval.

Whenever either parent petitions the court for a modification, the needs of the child or children are always considered first. Reasons to modify an order include:

• Either parent has become unemployed or experiences a change in income.
• Family income changes significantly after a parent remarries.
• One of the parents becomes disabled.
• There is a significant change in the children’s needs.

If you’re the parent paying child support, you’re not automatically obligated to increase your child support payments. Even if you do have an increase in salary, you may not end up having to increase the payments if the increase is not significant. Conversely, if you are receiving child support, you need to prove that your child needs the change in payments before proceeding with the petition.

Changes in child support laws

Another reason to ask for a change in child support payment stems from changes in child support laws. In 2017, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act changed the formula for determining child support payments. The new guidelines are complicated and apply even if marital misconduct occurred in the marriage or one parent was at fault in the divorce.

If you or your ex-spouse requests a change in child support payments, this change in calculating payments in Illinois will occur even if your divorce took place before 2017. Make sure that you understand the law if a change must be made. Remember, your children’s well-being is at stake.