As a child grows older, their needs and wants change as well. Moreover, a child’s parents can also undergo significant life changes. As a result, there are times when a child support order no longer works well for the parents and their child. Fortunately, Illinois family courts allow the modification of support orders.
A review every three years
Child support is eligible for a modification review every three years from the date of the order. Before the court decides whether to approve the requested changes, it will first review the remaining support balance, the paying parent’s current employment status and other relevant information.
Does one have to wait for the three-year mark before petitioning for a modification? Not necessarily. If there is a substantial change in circumstances, the court may allow a request to change the support order.
What classifies as a substantial change varies on a case-to-case basis. Usually, the court opens the support order for modification if there are big changes in the following:
- The child’s needs
- The capacity of the noncustodial parent to pay
- The employment status of either parent
- The civil status of either parent
- The home location
- The child’s preferences
These are some of the factors courts consider when modifying support orders.
The child is the top priority
Courts allow modifications if it is in the child’s best interest. Even if the changes are on a parent’s part, the court will relate this to how it will affect the child and their development. It is on the part of the petitioning parent to prove that the modification is necessary for the child’s well-being.