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Kane County family law attorneysWhen you are responsible for making child support payments, virtually every financial decision you make can affect your ability to meet your obligations. This is especially true if you are considering a job or a career change, as your income is very likely to change. While an increase in your income can be a good thing, a decrease could make it impossible for you to comply with your child support requirements. You may be able to petition the court for an order modification, but depending upon the circumstances of your employment, your request could be denied.

Illinois Law

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, an order for child support may be amended upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Losing a job, starting a new one, a significant promotion or demotion, and a complete career change could all create a significant difference in your monthly and annual income. The law recognizes a change in employment status as one of the possible causes for a substantial change in circumstances for the purposes of pursuing an order modification.

Good Faith

Everyone has made choices in their lives that have had a negative outcome, despite being made for the right reasons. Your intentions are an extremely important consideration when seeking a child support order modification, particularly if your income has decreased. If you simply walked away from a steady job with no current, realistic prospects, you are not likely to be granted relief. Similarly, if you were dismissed from your job for inappropriate or destructive behavior, or lack of production due to your own fault, your support obligation will probably not be reduced.

Kane County family law attorneyAs a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, you undoubtedly understand the importance of providing financial support for your child, particularly if you have not been granted primary residential parental responsibilities. Of course, there is much more to being a parent than paying child support, but when you are having trouble making your obligated payments, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take when meeting your obligations becomes impossible, and an experienced family lawyer can help.

Requesting a Modification

Child support orders in Illinois are generally based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children being supported. Therefore, if your income or ability to generate income changes substantially, you can request a modification to your support order. You will need to show that there has been a significant change in your circumstances, but if the court approves your request, your order can be amended to reflect your current situation.

good faith, order modifications, Geneva family law attorneyWhen a couple gets divorced, it is not uncommon for the pair to remain financially connected in some way for a period of time—sometimes a significant period—following the end of the marriage. For some, the connection may be in the form of agreed-upon or ordered spousal maintenance. For divorced parents, an order requiring the parent with less parenting time to make child support payments is highly probable. In certain cases, both spousal maintenance and child support orders may be needed. Over time, these financial obligations may need to be revisited as a situations and family needs continue to change. Of course, economic resources are a major factor in proceedings to modify an existing order. There is, however, another important consideration; a party is expected, at all times, to make good faith efforts toward meeting his or financial obligations.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that an order for spousal maintenance or child support can be modified “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.” This means that something major has developed in the family’s situation that needs to be addressed. Common examples of a substantial change in circumstances include a dramatic increase in the child’s or recipient spouse’s needs, a significant change in the payor party’s income, job loss, injury, or illness.

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