How do I request a child support modification in Illinois?
Regardless of whether you pay alimony and child support or receive payments on your child’s behalf, both parents have an obligation to provide and promote a stable and sound emotional and financial environment for the child.
In the state of Illinois, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) conducts modification reviews of child support orders to make certain that both parties are in compliance with child payments, as mandated by the courts.
As the word implies, “modification” simply means a change to an existing judicial or administrative order regarding child support. Also, judicial orders are modified through the courts while administrative orders are modified through HFS’ DCSS.
Illinois law also mandates that DCSS notify each parent not less than once every three years concerning a child support order, and parents right to request a review of that order.
Child Support Modification Review Process
The process in requesting a review of your child support obligations begins with filing a petition with the court that has jurisdiction over your case, to either increase or decrease child support payments. The petition should state the reason(s) for the modification as well as a “prayer for relief” detailing to the court the change in child support obligation you are requesting.
Also, because you are seeking modification of an existing judicial or administrative order, there is no need to have the petition served by a sheriff. You can mail the petition directly to the party’s last known address.
However, if the petition is seeking other actions by the court besides modification of child support, such as a change of parental time, parental obligation, and/or responsibilities, the petition must then be served by certified mail 30 days prior to the date of the hearing.
The criteria needed for modification review requires one of the following conditions to exist:
- A minimum of 3 years has passed since the establishment of the judicial or administrative order, or the last modification review.
- A substantial change has occurred to the non-custodial parent’s income.
- The order does not address healthcare coverage for the child.
- DCSS has received a written request for a modification review by the custodial parent, non-custodial parent, or another state.
Once the modification review request is received by DCSS, a notice will be sent to both parties notifying them whether or not their request qualifies them for a modification review. The process usually takes about 30 days after DCSS receives the request.
DCSS will require both parents to send them verification of income. That information will determine how your child support payments will be recalculated.
That information will be mailed to both parties, notifying them of the results of the modification review. The notice will detail the exact amount your child will receive in child support payments.
The notice will also advise you clearly whether your child support payment:
- Remains the same,
- Increases, or