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Modification of an Illinois child support order

An effort to modify a child support order in Illinois may only be made if a state court has already entered an order in the case in question. If this is the case, then one parent may serve another by mail in connection with a request for a modification. Before a parent can be notified, however, it is important to begin the modification process through preparation of appropriate legal forms.

A petition must be filed for child support modification, the formal request to the court and the official notice to another parent in connection with one's position on the issues under consideration. Careful completion of the petition is important because if anything is omitted, the court may not grant it. It is important to understand that a copy of the original order must be included with the modification petition. A data sheet is also required for use by the clerk to administer the support account. This includes relevant employment information but is not used in computation of support amounts. After the petition is filed in the county from which the original support order was issued, a petitioner may serve the other parent.

A parent who has been served in a support modification case has 30 days to respond to the petition. That individual may sign a waiver, in which case the petition may proceed without the 30-day wait. If the waiting period elapses without response, a hearing may be requested. In some cases, a response may be filed. If an attorney is assisting the other party in such a case, it may be wise to retain legal counsel before proceeding.

An attorney may assist in presenting arguments in favor of a modification at a hearing. Although an individual may appear without an attorney, legal counsel may ensure that the case is presented clearly.

Source: The Self Help Legal Center, "How to modify a child support order in Illinois ", September 22, 2014

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