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Does a Raise Mean an Automatic Increase in Illinois Child Support Payments?

 Posted on March 23, 2024 in Child Support

IL family lawyerIn the state of Illinois, child support payments are calculated based on several factors, with special emphasis placed on the payer’s income. This brings up a logical question. What if your income does not always remain as it was at the time that you got divorced? If you lose your job, can you stop making those payments? If you get a raise, do you need to pay more? Just like with all other aspects of your divorce settlement, the answer to these questions is that it all depends on your specific circumstances. If you were given a raise at work recently, a knowledgeable DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer can review your situation and guide you on how to proceed.

Who Can Request a Modification?

In a child support arrangement, there is a paying parent and a non-paying parent. Any requests for modifications need to come from the non-paying parent. Additionally, these requests need to be submitted to the court rather than directly asking the paying parent to pay more. Unless it is stated clearly in the divorce settlement or child support agreement, the paying parent is not required to inform the non-paying parent that they got a raise. They are also not required to do anything or make any changes to their payments unless a judge grants a modification.

One reason why is that there is no guarantee the arrangement will be modified. An annual raise from your work is not always enough of a reason for increased child support payments. The nature of the raise is also important. Is it to account for a cost of living adjustment? If so, chances are that this would not justify increased child support payments. Have you been given several raises over several years? If so, this might meet the standard for increasing your payments, the main one being a significant increase in your income.

Can I Make an Informal Agreement With My Ex?

Sometimes, a non-paying parent will speak directly with the paying parent and ask them to informally increase their payments. This is not the same as them asking for a favor or needing you to pick up your children on a day you normally would not because they have some appointment they cannot reschedule. These are regular, ongoing payments and can cost a lot over time.

Even if you and your ex have parted on friendly terms, it is best not to change any part of your divorce settlement out of court, as these changes can lead to questions in the future regarding any deviations from the court-approved agreement. If they insist and the modification they are asking for is reasonable to you, at least make sure to get this adjustment down in writing and have it signed by your ex.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wheaton, IL Child Support Lawyer

If you have received a raise at work, you may be wondering how this might impact your current child support agreement. An experienced DuPage County, IL child support modification attorney can help you navigate this. Call Fawell & Fawell at 630-871-2400 to schedule a free consultation.

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