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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

IL family lawyerWhen you go through a difficult divorce involving minor children from your marriage, the prospect of needing to go back to court in order to modify an order can feel daunting. However, parents and children can experience significant changes in circumstances that require a modification of an existing allocation judgment or child support order. In particular, if you lose your job or if you suddenly are required to take a substantial pay cut, you may be concerned about meeting your child support obligation. Under such circumstances, it may be possible to ask the court to modify the child support order. When you are seeking a modification, you should always work with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney.

How DuPage County Courts Determine Child Support

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts in DuPage County and throughout Illinois determine child support obligations based on guidelines and the “income shares” model for calculating child support. This method is streamlined based on the total income of both parents. In using the income shares model, the court will combine both parents’ incomes to determine the total income. Then, the court will look at the Illinois child support guidelines, which provide a specific monthly child support obligation based on the total income (of both parents) and the number of minor children in need of support.

The court determines each parent’s percentage of that obligation based on the parent’s individual income, number of overnights with the child, and other relevant factors. Yet a parent’s ability to pay his or her child support obligation can change over time.

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IL family lawyerNo parent in DuPage County wants to face a situation in which they cannot afford to make their regular child support payments. However, there are numerous situations that can arise to make it difficult or even impossible for a parent to contribute his or her portion of the child support obligation. For example, if a parent gets hurt and cannot work, that parent may be hospitalized for a month or longer, preventing that parent from earning money and contributing to the support of the child. Or, a parent might lose his or her job. If you lose your job, can you have your child support obligation modified?

In short, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) allows parents to modify child support in some circumstances, but it is important to understand how child support can be modified and what limitations might exist. If you need to modify child support, you should reach out to a DuPage County child support attorney as soon as you can.

Are You Eligible to Modify Child Support?

In order to modify child support, in most circumstances, one of the following must be true:

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Illinois child support lawIf you live in DuPage County and have been thinking about filing for divorce, you may know that Illinois law recently changed when it comes to child support. In brief, as of July 1, 2017, Illinois now follows the “income shares” model when calculating child support obligations. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505), the court calculates both parents’ combined net income, and then determines the total amount of the child support obligation from the schedule. The court then calculates each of the parent’s percentage share of that child support obligation.

How does parenting time affect each parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation? When parents share parenting time equally, the court is unlikely to adjust a parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation based on parenting time. But what about when parenting time is not shared equally between the parents?

When the “Shared Physical Care” Formula Might Apply

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