As a single parent, it is important to be aware of the laws surrounding child support, specifically concerning modification of payments. According to Illinois statute, custodial parents have the right to request an upward modification of child support from their ex, provided there is a “substantial change in circumstances.” These requests are most often due to an increase in the income of the parent paying child support. If you are considering requesting a modification on the basis of an income change, the following describe the necessary actions to take in pursuance:
Investigate your ex’s income. Before you can formally make a request for modification, you must gather evidence of your ex’s increase in salary. Salary increases can include getting a new job, promotion, raise, or inheriting a significant amount of money. Pay attention to the signs-if you’ve noticed an increase in your ex’s standard of living (new car, expensive vacations, spending less time with the kids due to working longer hours, etc.), keep track of your observations and do what you can to verify your suspicions. With this evidence you may have grounds to petition for an upward modification.
Plan Ahead. During the early stages of a divorce procedure, protective measures can be taken to ensure that your child receives the proper amount of child support. This can be done by including in your divorce decree that your ex be required to provide proof of income at the end of every year. In doing so, you can easily monitor how much money he is making and whether or not you are receiving the appropriate amount of child support.
Subpoena his wages. When simply requiring your ex to provide proof of income in a divorce decree is not a reliable means of ascertainment, further measures can be taken. As the custodial parent, you have the right to subpoena your ex’s wages directly from his employer. Doing so can prevent a dishonest ex from fabricating his true salary, ensuring that your child receives the appropriate amount of child support.
File a petition for modification. Once you have gathered the necessary evidence concerning the change in your ex’s salary, you will need to file a petition for modification in the county where your child support order was originally determined. A petition is a formal document submitted to the Circuit Clerk in which you will provide a written request for the upward modification. Once you have filed, you will need to mail a copy of the petition to your ex, serving notice of your request. Upon filing all necessary paperwork, your last step will then be to request a hearing date for your case.
If you are considering making a request for an upward modification in child support, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced child support lawyer regarding the proper proceedings. For more information on matters involving child support, please contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.