QUESTION: My ex has relocated more than 25 miles away with our minor children. Is there a basis for modifying child support?
ANSWER: Possibly. There are definitely arguments to be made in regard to modifying child support when there is parent relocation, but it depends on the unique factors of the case. For example, if the transportation costs for parenting time escalate, that could be a basis to modify support. If a parent who previously had to drive across town to have parenting time with their children now has to fly to a different state or spend a significant amount of time driving, resulting in increased transportation expenses, it is arguable that child support should be modified. Typically, this depends on the distance between the parties after relocation as well as before the relocation. Conversely, a parent who moves further away from their children and then has to incur additional expenses to travel to see their children may not have a basis to modify support, as they chose to move further away. However, no results can ever be guaranteed, it is entirely situational.
QUESTION: My ex’s income has gone up. How will this impact child support?
ANSWER: Possibly. Under the new Illinois statute, this may be considered a substantial change in circumstances where modifying child support modification is possible depending upon how much the spouse was earning before their income went up. Under the new statute, both spouse’s incomes are considered in the child support calculation. So, it is always best to run the child support figures under the new statute with the new income amounts to see if there is, in fact, a substantial change in circumstances, prior to filing. This is the best way to see if there is, in fact, a basis to modify support, because the results can be surprising. The new statute considers how much parenting time as well as both parties’ income and is an entirely different calculation than the formula which was in place prior, which was a straight percentage order.
QUESTION: Can I ask for my ex to contribute to health insurance premiums for our minor children?
ANSWER: Yes. Child support is modifiable at any time in most cases, so at any point, someone can bring a motion for contribution to the minor children’s expenses. Health insurance is built into the new statute and the way the calculation works, health insurance can be awarded based upon the parties’ income percentages. Under the old law, if the obligor parent paid the child’s health insurance premium, they could use it as a deduction when calculating child support. This is treated slightly differently than it was before.
QUESTION: I quit my job and took a new job where I am earning less money. Can I modify my child support obligation?
ANSWER: This depends. The circumstances under which the last job was lost can change how a Court would view this situation. If the job change resulted in a reduction in income, which was voluntary and for the purpose of reducing support, the Court is less inclined to modify the support obligation. When modifying child support is at issue, the circumstances for quitting a job are relevant and can change the Court’s opinion.
Anderson & Boback are dedicated to helping you make the best decisions by explaining all your options and taking the necessary action to protect you and your child’s interests. Contact us today for a confidential consultation to learn more about modifying child support.