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Do I Need to Pay More Child Support if I Get a Raise?

 Posted on July 06, 2023 in Child Support

Wheaton, IL child support lawyerThe amount of child support that you pay in Illinois is tied to your income. Many people ask whether their child support will automatically go up as their income rises. The answer to that question is that a raise does not always mean that you will pay more, but it could potentially lead to higher child support payments. Everything depends on the circumstances of your own situation and a DuPage County child support attorney can help.

A Non-Paying Parent Must Seek a Modification

Generally, the paying parent is not required to notify the other parent of a raise in income unless a divorce or child support agreement requires it. In order for payments to increase, the parent who is not paying child support must ask the court to raise child support by filing a motion to modify the child support order. 

Alternatively, the non-paying parent is allowed to have a review for a modification every three years. There is never a guarantee that a petition for modification will be approved; the law requires there to be a “significant change” in the non-custodial parent’s income, or a significant change in the child’s needs. Not every single raise will be considered significant. The parent paying child support does not have to do anything until and unless the child support order is modified by a judge. 

Annual Raises Alone May Not Be Enough for a Modification

If you get an annual cost of living adjustment alone, it likely would not be enough for you to be ordered to pay more child support. If you get a series of raises over a period of years, however, it could meet the standard for a significant change in income. If you got a promotion that came with a large raise, it could similarly be significant. There is no legal definition of the word “significant,” and it would be up to the judge’s discretion. If the judge does order a modification, they will calculate a new amount based on the Illinois Support Guidelines.

Always Go By the Books

The other parent may ask you to informally increase child support if they know that you are making more money. You are better off not trying to agree to anything just by talking about it. This is a recipe for trouble in the future. If the other parent wants a modification, they should request a review or file a motion. At the very least, you should get any agreement between you and the parent to whom you are paying child support in writing.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Attorney Today

If you have any questions about a possible child support modification, the Wheaton, IL child support attorneys at Fawell & Fawell can help. We offer free consultations to prospective clients. You can message us online or call us today at 630-871-2400 to schedule an appointment with an attorney. 


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