During a divorce or legal separation, the law requires a number of considerations to be addressed before the proceedings may be completed. While arrangements regarding such issues as property division and spousal maintenance are certainly pertinent, child custody and visitation provisions, and child support orders are among the most important concerns for parent. Once established, a child support order is likely to remain in force for years into the future.
As discussed in a previous post, the terms of a child support order are established in accordance with state law, taking into account the family’s current situation. For a period of time, the initial order may work perfectly to address the needs of the involved children, relative to the financial resources and requirements of both parents. Life, however, can be unpredictable, and a family may find that an existing support order has become untenable or no longer appropriate for a number reasons. Fortunately, in many cases, Illinois law allows for the modification of a support order if and when the need should arise.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is responsible for overseeing child support awards in the state to ensure they are in accordance with the law and continue to meet the needs of involved families. At least every three years, DCSS is required to notify each parent affected by a support order of his or her right to request a modification review. An order may also qualify for a review under certain other conditions: