If you can not afford to make your child support payments, do not simply stop paying. Failure to pay your child support can lead to fines, loss of your driver’s license, wage garnishment and other monetary seizures, and even jail time. As a parent, you are legally required to financially provide for your child.
However, you may have your child support amount reduced if you are experiencing significant financial hardships or a dramatic change in your financial circumstances. This must be done through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Division of Child Support Services.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can not afford to make your child support payments, contact an experienced family attorney to learn more about your options. It is much better for you and for your child for you to seek a modification rather than allowing yourself to become delinquent with your payments.
Seeking a Child Support Modification
Illinois parents are given the opportunity to have their child support agreement reviewed and potentially modified every three years following the creation of the agreement. This comes as a notification from the Division of Child Support Services. When this notification arrives, each parent is told that his or her child support amount could potentially increase, decrease, or remain the same.
A parent may seek a child support modification for any of the following reasons:
- Significant medical expenses;
- Job loss or an otherwise significantly reduced income; or
Any of the following groups and individuals may request a child support review and modification on a child’s behalf:
- His or her noncustodial parent;
- Healthcare and Family Services;
- His or her custodial parent or legal guardian; or
- The child support agency in another state.
The Modification Review Process
If you opt to have your child support amount reviewed and potentially altered, you and your child’s other parent must both submit records of your incomes to the Division of Child Support Services for review. Once the division has reviewed your records and notified you of your obligation’s potential to change, you will later receive a decision regarding the modification request.
If you do not agree with the division’s ruling on your child support modification, you may take one of the following actions:
- Request a redetermination, which means that your case will be reviewed again by the Division of Child Support Services;
- Request an Administrative Hearing, which is an informal dispute resolution process that involves guidance and an order from an administrative law judge; or
- Take your case to court to have the modification amount contested.
A knowledgeable family attorney can help you through this process and work with you to build a stronger case for your modification.
Family Attorneys in DuPage County
Abear Law Offices proudly serves families in DuPage County. If you recently experienced a significant change in your financial circumstances, you may be able to have your child support amount modified. Child support is meant to provide for your children, not to cause you to go into debt. Contact one of our firm’s compassionate Wheaton family law attorneys.