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What is the modification review process for child support?

For many divorced parents, child support is an important source of income that is counted on to cover expenses relating to their children. However, occasionally a parent's situation may change, and what was once an adequate amount of child support may no longer be enough to make ends meet. The state of Illinois offers divorced parents the ability to modify child support through a modification review process.

Each year, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services notifies parents of their ability to conduct a modification review of their child support order. These annual reviews are done as a courtesy and with the intent of discovering whether current child support orders are satisfactory or are in need of modification.

If a parent wishes to have the child support order modified through this process, they must first meet certain requirements to become eligible. To initiate the process, a parent must have experienced a substantial change in income that makes the current child support order inadequate. Also, at least three years must have passed since the last order or modification review. If these and other requirements have been met, a request can be sent in writing asking for the process to advance. Both parents are made aware of the status of the request and, if a change is made, will be notified in writing.

The modification review process is an additional service provided to divorced parents through the family court system. Modification of child support, no matter how seemingly simple the case may be, is a complex and highly involved process. Working with a family law attorney may help make the process faster and easier to understand.

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