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The child support modification process in Illinois

Some Illinois parents may be interested in information about requesting a modification to an existing child support order. These modifications could result in lower support payments when a non-custodial parent's financial circumstances change.

After child support is ordered by an administrative official or a judge, there is an opportunity to have that order reviewed under certain circumstances. These include a substantial change in the income of the person charged with paying the support, the elapsing of at least three years since the order was given or last modified, or if the original order did not address the child's health care coverage. The review can be requested by the custodial or non-custodial parent, a caretaker, the Division of Child Support Services or an equivalent agency in another state.

Once the modification request is made, both parents will be notified by the DCSS as to whether or not a review of the child support order is appropriate. If so, both parents will need to send proof of income, which the DCSS will use to recalculate the child support payments. The decision will then be mailed to both parents. If either parent objects, they may request either an administrative or judicial hearing or a reconsideration of the request. This request must be filed earlier than 30 days after the date on the notice sent by the DCSS.

Understanding the process for receiving a child support order or requesting modifications to that order can be difficult without the assistance of an attorney who has experience in family law matters. A noncustodial parent who has become unemployed since the original order was made could work with such an attorney to determine if reducing the amount that is owed through a modification is possible.

Source: Illinois Child Support, "Modification Review Process for Child Support Orders", October 22, 2014

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