Some changes in life affect us for a short, definitive period, while others have long-term or permanent effects. For this reason, when a parent requires a modification to his or her child support obligations, an Illinois family law court will seek to determine how long the need is for to see if a permanent or temporary child support modification is required.
Here are some examples of issues that could inspire a permanent or temporary change in child support:
Temporary child support modifications: Imagine a single noncustodial father is paying his ex-spouse $1,000 in monthly child support for three children. However, the father suffers a boating accident and breaks his leg. The injury prevents him from continuing to perform his job duties as a construction worker.
He'll be out of work for a period of four months, but the doctor expects him to be fully recovered after that. In this case, a family law judge might award the father a temporary reduction in child support payments to make it easier for the father to pay his monthly obligations without getting behind.
Permanent child support modifications: Imagine that a single, noncustodial mother makes a monthly child support payment of $700 for one child. However, the mother suffers a devastating stroke and becomes permanently disabled. Now, she'll never be able to afford to pay the $700 per month child support.
However, she can receive a certain amount of funds through Social Security for her daughter, who is her financial dependent. A judge may agree to permanently modify the mother's monthly child support obligation to reflect her current disability income.
There are many other circumstances that could warrant a permanent or temporary change in child support payments -- like if the paying parent receives a dramatic increase or decrease income or if the financial needs of the child change drastically due to a medical condition.
If you need to modify your child custody payments, make sure you investigate your legal options as soon as possible. There's more information about seeking modifications on our website.