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Is a Parent Who Pays Child Support Required to Notify the Recipient of Changes in Employment or Income in Illinois?

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article, we will answer a reader’s question, “is a parent who pays child support required to notify the recipient of changes in employment or income in Illinois?”  We will answer the questions, “how are child support amounts determined in Illinois?”, and “do Illinois child support payments change when a parent changes employment?”

How Are Child Support Amounts Determined in Illinois?

In Illinois, the amount of child support is determined by first using economic tables to determine the total amount of money that should be allocated per month for the child’s care between both parents.  This total is then divided among the parents based on their net incomes relative to one another.  This means that the more the obligor makes, the more he or she will tend to pay.  However, this also means that the more the recipient makes, the less he or she will tend to receive.  The bottom line for the purposes of our discussion is that the income of both parents is the key factor in determining the amount that will be awarded in child support.  

For much more on Illinois Child Support Law, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019.

Do Illinois Child Support Payments Change When a Parent Changes Employment?

Child support payments can be modified by either parent whenever there is a “substantial change in circumstances.”  A significant increase or decrease in either the obligor or the recipient’s income qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances which can lead to a change in the amount of child support.  

However, the amount of the required child support payments do not automatically change when a party’s income changes.  Nor can the parents change the amounts outside of court by self-help or agreement.  In order to modify the amount of child support based on changed circumstances, one of the parties must file a motion to modify the child support order with the court.  

To learn more about child support modification, check out our article: Illinois Child Support Modification Explained.  

Is a Parent Who Pays Child Support Required to Notify the Recipient of a Change in Employment or Income?

A parent who is paying child support is generally not required to notify the other parent when his or her income or employment changes unless the court explicitly required him or her to do so in the child support order or unless the parties’ settlement agreement contains this requirement.  

If your case does not require notice but you believe the other party’s income has changed significantly, you can work with your attorney to obtain this information through the court’s discovery process.  

If your child support payments are being managed through the Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) you can request a review of each party’s income and the child support amount every three years.


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