Many people in Illinois pay child support each month. The amount of the child support varies from parent to parent, but one constant is that failing to pay the court-ordered amount is not a legal option. Child support payments may be a significant portion of the parent's monthly income, however, and paying might be impossible for a parent whose monthly income drops significantly.
Recently, in an interview with Dr. Phil, rapper DMX talked about his struggles with child support debt. DMX has 11 children and owes a very large amount of money for child support. DMX stated that the reason for the large child support debt is that when the child support was ordered, he was making $13 million a year. However, the rapper stated that he has not earned that much money in 10 years and therefore cannot pay the child support amounts that were established back when he was a multi-millionaire.
Looking beyond these eye-popping dollar amounts, DMX finds himself in essentially the same position as many parents in Illinois who are behind in child support payments due to an unexpected decrease in income. In many cases these parents cannot afford to make the court-ordered child support payments anymore, much as they might want to. But a decrease in income, even if it is through no fault of the parent, does not automatically change the court-ordered child support payment; those parents need to seek a modification of their child support obligation.
Courts may reduce child support obligations in situations where a parent has lost a job or incurred unexpected medical expenses. However, the child support obligation does not change until the parents reach an agreement or it is ordered by the court, so acting quickly may be beneficial. Parents may also seek a modification to increase a child support obligation as well in the opposite situation: if the parent paying child support has a significant increase in income, an increase in child support may be warranted. The best interest of the children is always the most important factor.
Parents in Illinois experiencing a significant change in their financial situation may be entitled to a modification of their child support obligations. Experienced family law attorneys could be a helpful resource in understanding whether a modification is an option.
Source: AllHipHop News, "DMX Speaks On His 11 Children And Child Support Debt With Dr. Phil," Keith Nelson Jr., Sept. 25, 2013