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Can Illinois Child Support Be Modified Due to Financial Hardship?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney child support

While most parents understand the importance of providing for their children, child support decisions can still be a source of conflict for unmarried parents or parents going through a divorce. As a parent, it is understandable that you would want to ensure that the terms of your child support order not only account for your children’s needs but also your own financial resources and ability to provide. In some cases, a child support order that once suited the needs of everyone involved may no longer be adequate in the coming years. This is perhaps more true than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when many parents are struggling with their health and finances in ways that they may never have expected. Fortunately, it may be possible to pursue a child support modification that can make the situation more manageable.

Modifying an Illinois Child Support Order During COVID-19

The basic child support payment calculation in Illinois considers the monthly net income of both parents at the time the order is issued, in an effort to allocate financial responsibility fairly between both parents. If your income changes after the initial calculation, however, you may find it difficult to continue fulfilling the obligation in your child support order. COVID-19 has brought many challenges that have led to decreases in income, including:

  • Unemployment due to layoffs and furloughs

  • Decreasing revenue for small business owners, landlords, and those who are self-employed

  • Health complications due to the virus that result in missed time from work, and in some cases, long-term issues that result in decreased earning capacity or costly medical bills

In many cases, Illinois courts recognize an involuntary drop in income as a substantial change in circumstances that can justify a modification to a child support order. An attorney can work with you to submit a petition for modification and present evidence of your change in income, and if your petition is successful, the court may decide to recalculate payment obligations based on your current income or adjust it according to the unique circumstances of your case.

It is also important to note that a change in your children’s health needs and expenses may also be a reason for modifying child support. While children are not typically affected by the coronavirus to the same extent as older adults, in the event that your children are struggling with health challenges related to COVID-19, you may be able to petition for a modification to increase the amount of child support that you receive to help you provide for their care.

Contact a Kane County Child Support Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we know that the last year has been incredibly difficult for many parents, especially those who are facing added challenges like a divorce, job loss, or health problems. If you need to modify your child support order, our qualified, compassionate St. Charles family law attorneys can help. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation today at 847-428-7725.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K505.htm

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

 

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