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How are child support modifications done in Illinois?

Illinois parents who share a child but are not together as a couple any longer must determine who will have custody and how much will be paid in child support by the supporting parent. While issues such as paying, child support enforcement and other factors will frequently arise, there are situations in which one of the parents would like to have child support modifications completed. There are certain rules that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) uses to modify support.

When the modification is by DCSS, it is only applicable to the child support order and the child's health care. If an order from the court is modified, it is done through HFS' DCSS. A review can be requested once every three years. There must be one of the following conditions in place for there to be a review of the order: a minimum of three years must have passed from the time the child support order was established or there was a review to determine if there should be a modification; the noncustodial parent had what is found to be a "substantial change" in his or her income; the order does not provide healthcare; or there was a written request from a parent or another state that is sent to the DCSS.

The parents will be notified, generally within 30 days, if the case qualifies for review. Income information for the parents will be requested by the DCSS. The child support amount will then be recalculated. There will be a notice sent to the parents informing them of the decision and whether the child support order will: stay the same; increase; or decrease. Parents who disagree with the results can ask for a redetermination, go to court to contest the amount, or request there be an administrative hearing.

For parents who are seeking a child support modification, it is important to understand the entire process, the criteria, and what to do if there is disagreement with any aspect of the case. A legal professional who is experienced in modifications can help with a case from the perspective of the custodial or noncustodial parent. This is the first call that should be made when hoping for a modification or to deal with other family law issues.

Source:, "Modification Review Process," accessed on Jan. 15, 2018

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