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Child Support and Unemployment

 Posted on October 18, 2023 in Family Law

Wheaton Family Law AttorneyWhen a couple with children goes through a divorce, there are many issues they need to work out in their divorce settlement. Where will each spouse live? Where will the children live? Who will decide where the children go to school? Who will pay child support, and how much will those payments be?

The arrangements agreed upon during a divorce settlement are naturally based on the circumstances at the time of the divorce. But if conditions change, it could have a huge impact on a parent’s ability to fulfill their end of the deal. If you are a parent who pays child support, and new circumstances are making it difficult for you to uphold those payments, a DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer can walk you through the process of child support modifications.

Can I Modify My Child Support Obligations in Illinois?

When you were finalizing your divorce settlement, it would have been natural for your child support agreement to be drawn up based on the income you were earning. But sometimes circumstances change. What happens if you get laid off, for example? Can the courts still require you to keep making the same payments even if you are no longer earning the income you once were?

Illinois State Law lists certain circumstances that would make modifications to child support arrangements possible. Included in that list of circumstances is an unexpected and involuntary change to either parent’s income. For example, if a parent has quit their job, this would not be considered a valid reason to decrease their child support payments. But if they have been laid off, this would certainly be considered appropriate ground for modifying the original arrangement.

However, do not take this to mean that you can simply decide to stop making your payments, or paying less than you originally agreed to. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • First, while the court could very well decide that your job loss is grounds for modifying your child support arrangement, this is not something you can decide to do on your own. Job loss would not automatically mean that your payments will be modified, although modification would certainly be a possibility in this situation. You would need to inform the court of your new circumstances, and the court would then begin a process of receiving your financial situation at the time of your divorce, compared with your financial situation now.

  • Second, the process of child support modification can be lengthy. Legally, no matter how long the process takes, until you are granted a modification, you need to find a way to keep paying the same amount that was stipulated in your original agreement. Fortunately, when a modification is granted, it applies retroactively from when you requested the modification.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Child Divorce Attorney

If you have been laid off from work and are concerned about your current child support arrangement, an experienced DuPage County, IL child support modification lawyer can answer any questions you have with sensitivity. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-364-4046 today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step in modifying your child support payments.

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