Many parents in Waukegan, Illinois, and the surrounding parts of Lake County have child support obligations, but they are, at least in some respects, simply another bill. Perhaps, because they figure the support is going to help their children, they just pay the weekly amount as it comes due, even if they have experienced a job loss or some other big change that makes it hard for them to pay the support.
While there may be noble intentions behind this, or it may be that the parent simply lacks the time to deal with support issue, there are a couple of legal risk to waiting to ask for a child support modification that one is eligible to receive. For instance, in Illinois, the general rule is that support modifications are not retroactive. In other words, a parent cannot claim that he or she should have support reduced before the day he or she notified the other parent that he or she had filed the appropriate motion with the court to have the order changed.
By way of example, if a parent looses his or her job in January 2018 but waits until April 2018 to file the necessary paperwork to change support, he or she will not be allowed to ask the court for credit for those three months in which he or she had no means to pay because the parent had not taken the necessary legal steps to adjust support. Moreover, for those parents who have gotten behind in payments for whatever reason, the law also states that a parent cannot expect to avoid enforcement proceedings simply by asking for a support modification.
Generally speaking, Illinois law favors those who file for child support modification promptly after they discover that the need to request a change. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney.