A variety of circumstances such as a lost job or an unexpected medical expense could affect a parent’s responsibility to pay child support. But some changed circumstances do not legally warrant a change in child support order.
The following are some examples of situations that generally do not influence child support orders.
A former spouse remarries
An increase in a former spouse’s household income after remarrying is not a factor in how courts calculate children’s needs. Courts do not impute responsibility to provide for a child to a step-parent.
A high school or college student gets a job
Illinois courts do not evaluate children’s income in calculating their support needs. If a child who is a student gets a part-time job, that income is not going to affect a support order.
A parent accepts payments that differ from an order
If a child’s parent who receives direct payments acquiesces to a lesser amount, it does not change the legal responsibility of the parent making payments. A child support obligation is a court order. It is necessary to petition for a formal amendment to avoid violation of a court order.
Ultimately, parents cannot unilaterally change their payments. When something happens that parents believe merits a change, they need to seek out more information and go through the right channels to obtain a judicial modification.