How does child support modification work in Illinois?

Illinois family court recognizes that child support agreements sometimes need adjustments.

Therefore, you can modify a child support agreement under certain circumstances as long as the court agrees that it is in the child’s best interest.

What are the requirements?

For the court to agree to changes, the parent requesting a modification must prove that the change is necessary and will better the child’s situation. Some accepted changes include:

  • The child moves out of the child support recipient’s home.
  • The child’s circumstances call for an increase due to disability or a change in medical needs.
  • The paying parent has a significant increase in income because of a raise, promotion or new job.
  • The paying parent has a decrease in income due to job loss or disability.
  • The child reached the age of maturity, joined the military or became emancipated.

In general, the court aims to ensure the child has access to all their basic needs, including housing, transportation, food, medical care, clothing and educational requirements.

Can you make modification agreements outside of court?

A common practice is for parents to make adjustments to a support order outside of court. However, these new agreements have relatively no standing in Illinois. Parents must still provide accurate records to prove the need for a change.

When will the court always deny you?

Self-inflected income decreases and unemployment will typically result in denial of a modification request. For example, if a parent takes a job making significantly less, the court will likely still require the same payment.

The best-case scenario is for both parents to agree and present supporting evidence to the court.