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Are Parents Still Required to Pay Child Support If They Quit or Lose Their Job?

 Posted on April 05,2021 in Family Law

DuPage County family law attorneyAccording to Illinois law, divorced and unmarried parents are expected to financially support their children. In most cases, the parent who spends the most time directly caring for the child receives financial support from the other parent in the form of child support. The amount that an Illinois parent pays in child support is largely based on his or her income. If a parent loses his or her income, does he or she still have to pay child support?

Job Loss Does Not Automatically Excuse a Parent from His or Her Child Support Obligation  

Child-related costs including childcare, education, and housing can quickly add up. Most parents rely heavily on the financial support they gain from child support payments to cover child-related expenses. A child’s financial needs do not disappear simply because a parent quits or loses his or her job. Consequently, a parent’s child support obligation does not automatically disappear if he or she is suddenly without income. However, the parent may qualify for a reduced child support obligation through a “Petition for Modification of Child Support.”

The Reason for the Change in Income is a Major Deciding Factor

Per Illinois law, parents may be able to modify the terms of their child support order if a “substantial change in circumstances” warrants the modification. Illinois courts may reduce a parent’s child support obligation if he or she experiences a job loss or significant decrease in income. However, the reason for the decrease in income is a vital factor in the court’s decision. If the parent has voluntarily quit his or her job and makes little attempt to reestablish employment, courts are unlikely to be sympathetic to the parent’s financial predicament. On the other hand, if the parent was laid off, fired, or cannot work because of COVID-19, the court is more likely to award a child support modification.

If a parent’s loss in income is deemed to be intentional or the parent has not made good faith efforts to gain employment, the court may decide to calculate the parent’s child support obligation based on his or her potential income rather than the parent’s actual income.

Contact a Wheaton Child Support Lawyer

Child support payments may be modified if a parent experiences a substantial change in circumstances Losing your job may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances if the job loss was unintentional and you have made genuine efforts to regain employment. If you wish to modify your child support obligation or you need to enforce a child support order that is being violated by the other parent, contact NN Legal Group. Our DuPage County child support attorneys are here to help. Call 630-474-0925 for a free consultation.




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