It is possible that change may truly be the only constant in life. Jobs may come and go, and certain events can necessitate a significant move. For divorced parents, many of these types of changes mean that at least one more change is necessary. For those who have a child custody or child support agreement in Illinois, a modification may be in order.

A myriad of factors can result in a necessary modification to a child support order. For instance, one parent could receive a raise that may require him or her to pay more. Conversely, a drop in pay — which was not so uncommon during the recent recession — the loss of a job or other financial barriers that prevent a parent from being able to make his or her monthly child support payments can be a big problem. Before a parent lands him or herself in contempt of court for non-payment, it can be a smart idea to petition the court for a modification.

Child support is not the only thing that can be affected by a new job. Should a new position require one parent to move out of state, if he or she wishes for the child to move too, then permission from the other parent and the court is often required. However, modifying child custody within two years of a divorce may not be so easy in Illinois. Typically, the parent requesting the modification must be able to demonstrate that the current arrangement is causing more harm to the child than good.

Although a modification for child support is based on both a parent’s ability to pay, as well as the cost of caring for a child, child custody arrangements are focused much more heavily on what is in the best interest of the child. As stability is generally viewed as highly beneficial for children, stability is often cited as the reason for the time-related restrictions on modifying custody shortly after a divorce. However, no matter how long it has been since a divorce was finalized, if either parent believes that the wrong amount of child support is being paid or that the custody arrangement is causing harm, a parent can petition the court for a modification that would be more beneficial.