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What is the child support modification process in Illinois?

When Illinois parents have a child but are no longer together as a couple, it is likely that the non-custodial parent will make child support payments to the custodial parent. In certain situations, however, the paying parent may need to request a child support modification.

The modification reviews are conducted by the Division of Child Support Services. The changes are contingent on each individual situation and the compliance with state law. A child support modification requires a change to the judicial or administrative order for child support.

At least once every three years, the DCSS will inform the parents who have a child support order that they have the right to ask for a review as well as how they can go about it. One of the following conditions must exist to warrant a review: a minimum of three years must have elapsed since the order was established or since the last review; a substantial change in the income of the non-custodial parent; the order does not address the child's healthcare coverage; or there must have been a written request to the DCSS from either parent or another state.

Once the DCSS has received the request, the parents will be informed as to whether they are entitled to a review. This generally happens within 30 days of the request being received. If the order qualifies to be reviewed, the DCSS will ask for income information. This will be used to recalculate the amount of child support that must be paid. There are three options for the support order after it has been reviewed. It will stay the same, increase or decrease.

In the event that there is disagreement with the decision, parents can ask for a redetermination, they can go to court to contest the order or they can ask for an administrative hearing.

A key point when seeking a modification to the support agreement is to have legal help. An experienced attorney can provide that assistance when dealing with child support issues.

Source: ChildSupportIllinois.com, "Modification Review Process," accessed on Jan. 18, 2016

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