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Modifying Your Divorce Decree After Being Laid Off from Work

 Posted on December 20, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

Geneva Divorce LawyerAmazon, Meta, Twitter, Peloton, and several other companies have announced massive layoffs in recent months. Many employees were let go from jobs with little to no warning, leaving them bewildered and unsure of what to do next.

If you were recently fired or laid off from your job, you know just how upsetting it can be. Many people in this situation have child support or spousal support obligations. Affording support payments after a job loss or income reduction can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible. Fortunately, you may be able to modify your divorce decree to reduce your financial obligations.

Changing Your Illinois Child Support Order

Child support payments are intended to help provide for the child. Consequently, Illinois courts consider child support a child’s right and modifications are only granted under certain circumstances. You can modify your child support order if there is a “substantial change in circumstances.” Typically, a significant change in the income of either parent justifies a child support modification. However, Illinois courts treat voluntary unemployment differently than involuntary unemployment. Parents who intentionally quit their job or take a lesser-paying job to reduce their child support obligation are not looked upon favorably and the court may deny a modification request in this situation.

To modify an administrative child support order, you will submit a modification review to the Department of Child Support Services. The DCSS will ask you to send proof of income and other financial documentation and then use that information to make a decision. If you have a child support order through the court, you will need to file a Motion to Modify Child Support with the court and prove that you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances necessitating the modification.  

Modifying Spousal Maintenance or Alimony

If you are required to pay alimony and you lose your job, you may be able to request a modification and reduce your obligation. To do so, you will need to file a motion to modify spousal support with the court. The court will conduct a hearing during which you and your ex-spouse will have an opportunity to present your reasons for or against spousal support modification. The court will consider the employment status of both parties, whether any changes in employment were made in good faith, the parties’ earning capacities, and other factors when making a decision.

Contact a Geneva Support Modification Lawyer

If you lost your job and can no longer afford spousal support or child support, do not simply stop paying. You will need to formally request a modification to reduce your financial obligation. Contact Kane County family law attorney Cherissa "Reese" Loire Krajniak for help. Call 630-448-2406 for a free consultation.




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