Be well-prepared for your child support modification hearing

Circumstances change in life, and an unexpected event may require you to seek a modification to your existing child support agreement.

A few years might have passed since you were last in court, and you may feel a bit apprehensive about this next appearance. If you prepare well and avoid common pitfalls, your petition for modification should go off without a hitch.

Be truthful

There will be forms for you to fill out. Do not exaggerate nor minimize information. Be entirely truthful in the facts you provide to the court. The judge will recognize and take a dim view of subterfuge.

Be on time

Leave for court early to avoid any potential traffic hang-ups. Being on time will make a good impression on the judge. Furthermore, do not become frustrated if your case is late to start. Others ahead of yours may take longer than anticipated.

Be focused

The reason you are in court is for the judge to determine how much or how little child support you should receive or owe. If other issues exist, such as visitation matters, you must take them up at another time. Focus only on child support modification; that is the reason you are in court on this occasion.

Be realistic

In making a determination about the modification you request, the judge will consider the information you and the other parent present as well as Illinois child support guidelines. If you feel your ex is not being truthful about his or her financial circumstances, you have a right to let the judge know.

One more thing

When you are preparing for your modification hearing, be diligent about opening all the letters you receive from your attorney, the attorney for the other parent and the court. You would be surprised to know how often people simply forget or ignore opening mail that could be crucial in a child support modification hearing. Being well-prepared will be essential to your success when you appear in court.

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