Child support is the obligation of a parent to provide financially for his or her children when the children live the majority of the time with the other parent. The parent who does not pay support is responsible for the other costs of raising the children that child support does not cover. The court takes child support obligations seriously because the law takes a stance that children should not suffer due to the choices or actions of the parent, such as divorce or no longer living together.
This does not mean that once you have an order for child support that the court cannot change the order. Child support modification is a common task because circumstances and needs change, which would change the financial obligations you have. According to The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, you may request a modification if you meet certain criteria.
You must have a substantial change in income to request a modification. Substantial means that it will have a great impact on the amount of support you owe. This could be due to the loss of a job, reduction of hours or some other financial change in your life that reduces your income, such as the birth of another child.
You may request a modification if your original order was missing something, such as healthcare coverage. The court can then add in this obligation to adjust what you pay.
You cannot request a modification if it has not been three years since your last modification or since the court issued the order. The other criteria may supersede this requirement, though. For example, if your income changes and it has not been three years since your last modification, the court may still hear your case.