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Category: Child Support

Can My Ex Reduce Their Child Support?

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Written by Olivia St. Clair Long, JD on 11.10.22

Divorces involving children are often difficult. Child support payments can be a significant source of financial relief for single parents. However, the amount of your ex’s payments is not set in stone, and they may be able to modify or reduce support in some circumstances.

Understanding the process for modifying child support in Illinois can keep you from being surprised and help you be legally prepared if your ex tried to reduce their payments.

When Can an Ex Reduce Child Support?

In Illinois, a temporary child support order put in place while proceedings are pending can be modified at any time before a final judgment.

Once a final child support judgment has been made, either party can move to modify that child support order, provided there is a significant change in either party‚Äôs income, or a significant change in the child’s needs. To succeed in their request to alter payments, a payor must prove that a sizeable shift in their financial standing keeps them from meeting the current amount, or a payee must prove that their own income has changed such that the support order should change.

Your Ex Must Have Good Reason to Request Reduced Support

Your ex cannot seek to reduce their child support without basis. One of the most common reasons people request modifications of child support is when a paying parent loses their job or experiences a considerable reduction in income. An ex may also seek to reduce payments if their expenses increase unexpectedly, such as if they suffer a medical event.

A shift in the child’s needs can also prompt an ex to seek to alter their child support payments. While most of the time, the needs of the child might necessitate increased support, they could also have reduced requirements as they get older, which could be used as justification for an ex to curtail payments.

In most cases, an ex cannot voluntarily take a significantly lower-paying job and then seek to reduce child support. They also cannot attempt to get out of child support by citing increased cost of living, declaring bankruptcy, or voluntarily paying support for another child not required by a court order.

What Happens When an Ex Requests a Child Support Modification?

When an ex requests to modify child support, the court rules require both parties to prove the amount of their income and expenses. The court may then recalculate child support based on this verified information and the state’s guidelines. They could be ordered to reduce their support, pay the same amount, or pay more.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services offers an online child support estimation calculator, which can give you an idea of the information used to determine your ex’s child support payments. It considers factors such as the number of children being supported, your ex’s monthly income, how long they have been making payments, and additional expenses such as childcare costs.

Our Child Support Attorneys Can Help

Just because your ex filed a request to reduce their child support payments does not mean they will succeed. The child support attorneys at O. Long Law, LLC are fierce advocates who can evaluate your ex’s reasons for requesting a modification and advise you on the viability of their case.

Our team will review your child support case history and fight on your behalf for a fair child support amount, no matter the circumstances.

Contact O. Long Law, LLC today at (847) 556-8846 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.

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