How to Modify Child Support

In Illinois, child support is always modifiable. There is no agreement that you can enter into waiving your right to receive child support.
Some of the fundamentals of child support are: (1) Increase in support, (2) Reduction of support, and (3) Reductions cannot be retroactive.
Modification of Support (Increase)
A custodial parent may seek an increase in child support, but only when there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” that justifies the increase. Often times, the fact that your child has aged would be enough to demonstrate a “substantial change in circumstance” because the child’s needs have likely increased. Child support is always modifiable. It may not be non-modifiable – even if the parents agree to that term. The law spells out specific thresholds that must be satisfied before the request may even be considered by the court.
Modification of Support (Reduction):
A non-custodial parent may be able to reduce his or her child support payments based on a “substantial change in circumstances;” that is, when new circumstances justify it. Generally speaking, the court will permit a reduction where the change in circumstances is beyond the control of the parent paying support. For example, if you pay support and you get laid off from your job, the court will probably grant a reduction in your support payments. If, however, you voluntarily reduce your income, quit your job, or do something intending to get yourself fired, you probably won’t get much sympathy from the court – meaning no reduction.
Reductions Cannot Be Retroactive:
Court orders modifying child support can effect only future payments – they cannot go back in time and retroactively reduce (or increase) support orders. Even if your support order is wrong – like if the math was done improperly – there are only a few things that can be done about it retroactively. Nunc pro tunc orders (court orders that have retroactive effect) cannot be used to correct errors. If you think your child support order should be changed – whether you’re seeking an increase or a reduction – the sooner you act the sooner the modification can go into effect. Every day that goes by until you start the process in court is a day that the court cannot later change – you’re just throwing money away.

  • Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!
  • Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

    Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

    click to download now!

What Our clients are saying

Excellent - I highly recommend Kimberly Anderson. She is knowledgeable, assertive, and experienced. What impressed me most about Kim is her dedication. I was able to reach her whenever there was a problem. She always responded immediately, proposed a solution, and put me at ease. The entire legal team at Anderson & Boback is superb.

Lisa March 29, 2018

  • Why Choose Anderson & Boback ?

  • ASLA Badge - Kimberly Anderson 2018
    BBB A+ Badge
    lawyers of distinction badge
    AVVO 10 Rating badge - generic
    Super Lawyers Generic badge

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!



  • firm overview Anderson & Boback

  • Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870