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What if I Lose My Job Due to COVID-19 and Cannot Pay My Child Support?

 Posted on December 14,2020 in Family Law

Villa Park family law attorney child support

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused both a health and economic crisis, impacting people in many different ways. Child support payments are an important financial resource for parents who have the majority of parenting time regardless if they are divorced or were never married. However, these payments also represent a considerable expense for paying or “obligor” parents. If you are an Illinois parent who has lost your job or experienced a decrease in income because of coronavirus, you may be worried about paying your child support. Illinois child support orders issued are mandatory. However, parents who experience an unexpected reduction in income may qualify for a reduced child support obligation.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support in Illinois

If your employment situation has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be unsure of how you will afford to pay your monthly bills. One of the most significant of your monthly expenses might be your child support payment. Nonpayment of child support is considered a major offense in Illinois. If you do not pay court-ordered child support, you could face civil and criminal penalties. You could even be held in contempt of court. If you are having trouble meeting your child support obligation, the first step is to communicate this problem to the court as well as your child’s other parent.  

Filing a Petition to Modify Child Support

If you want to request that your child support obligation is reduced, you may petition the court for a child support order modification. Once you have filed the petition, you will need to demonstrate your need for a reduced child support obligation to the court. Typically, Illinois child support modifications are granted when:

  • There has been a considerable change in financial circumstances such as a job loss or major change in either parent’s income

  • There is a substantial difference between the amount of child support an obligor should be paying according to the Illinois child support guidelines and the amount that the obligor is actually paying

Illinois courts will only reduce a parent’s child support obligation if the reduction in the parent’s financial resources was involuntary or made “in good faith.” If you lost your job because you were laid off or had your hours reduced because of COVID-19, you are much more likely to qualify for a child support modification than if you voluntarily quit your job.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Modification Lawyer

COVID-19 has caused many non-essential businesses to close, causing some parents to lose their main source of income and worry about paying their bills. For help filing a petition to modify child support, gathering evidence to support your request, and navigating other child support concerns, contact NN Legal Group. We will ensure that your parental rights are protected every step of the way. Call us today at 630-474-0925 to set up a free initial consultation with our accomplished Wheaton family law attorney.




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