As this blog has discussed previously, Rockford, Illinois, residents who are ordered to pay child support do not have a lot of say in the matter. They either need to come up with the money, or they will face serious penalties that can profoundly affect their lives and can even lead to some time in jail.
When because of a job change or some other circumstance beyond his or her control, a person sees that he or she will no longer be able to pay the child support he or she owes, the proper course of action is to file a petition with the court asking for a child support modification.
It is not advisable for a person just to take matters in to his or her own hands and stop paying child support. Not only can this lead to enforcement actions against the parent, it also could wind up not counting in the eyes of the law, even if the other parent agrees to it, and thus ending with a parent owing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in back support.
In Illinois, in order to get a modification of child support, a parent is generally going to have to show that his or her financial circumstances or the needs of the child have changed, and also that the change of circumstance is not the fault of the parent asking for the modification.
A significant change in financial circumstances usually means that a parent has seen at least 10 percent fluctuation in his or her income in either direction. Other circumstances, like a change in where the child is living, can also be grounds to ask for a modification.