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What You Need to Know About the Modification Review Process for Child Support Orders

Division of Child Support Services

Modification Review Process

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) conducts modification reviews of child support orders to ensure child support awards are in line with Illinois law and changing circumstances.

A modification is a change to an existing judicial or administrative child support order. The modification processed by DCSS applies only to the child support provision of the order and/or the provision for the child’s health care. Judicial orders are modified through the courts and administrative orders are modified through HFS’ DCSS.

Not less than once every three years, DCSS notifies each parent subject to a child support order of the right to request a review of their order, and the appropriate place and way in which the request should be made.

Orders qualify for the modification review process if one of the following conditions exists:

  1. At least three (3) years have passed since the establishment of the order or the last modification review; or

  2. There is a substantial change in the non-custodial parent's income; or

  3. The order does not address healthcare coverage for the child(ren); or

  4. A written request for a review is received by DCSS from the custodial parent, non-custodial parent, or another state.

After the request for a modification review is received by DCSS, both parents will be sent a notice stating whether or not their order qualifies for a modification review. This usually occurs within 30 days after the receipt of the request by DCSS. This time frame may vary depending on the workload of the office completing the review.

If your order qualifies for a modification review, the notice will ask you and the other parent to send in copies of your income information to DCSS. DCSS will use the information to recalculate the amount of your child support payment. You will get a notice in the mail with the results of the modification review. The notice of the modification review results will advise you if the amount of your child support payment could:

  1. Remain the same,

  2. Increase, or

  3. Decrease.

If you disagree with the modification review results, you can:

  1. Request a redetermination with DCSS, if the review results indicate the order will remain the same;

  2. Appear in court to contest the amount ordered (if you have a judicial order); or

  3. Request an Administrative Hearing if you disagree with the new administrative order.

Your request must be filed with DCSS within 30 days of the date of the modification review decision notice.

Who May Request a Modification Review?

  1. Non-Custodial Parent: the parent who does not live with the child(ren),

  2. Custodial Parent/Caretaker: the parent/caretaker who lives with the child(ren),

  3. Healthcare and Family Services, or

  4. Another state's child support agency.

If you are currently receiving child support services from DCSS, you can request a modification review by calling Customer Service toll-free at 1-888-245-1938.

If you are not receiving child support services from DCSS, you can apply for free child support services by calling our toll-free Customer Service Call Center 1-800-447-4278.

If you prefer to make your request for a modification review in writing, send your written request to:

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Division of Child Support Services

DCSS Modification Review Team

P.O. Box 64900

Chicago, Illinois 60664

Include your name, address and daytime phone number in all written inquiries.

For more information about the modification review process, parents may call Customer Service toll-free at 1-888-245-1938. Persons using a teletypewriter (TTY) can call toll free at 1-800-526-5812.

Military Reserve/National Guard

Mobilization and Activations

When an Illinois National Guard or Reserve member is mobilized or activated to long-term continuous military active duty orders (defined as greater than 30 continuous days), the National Guard or Reserve member may request a modification review because of continuous military active duty. To request a modification of your order because of activation to long-term continuous military active duty, contact the:

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Community Outreach Department

Military Project

P.O. Box 64629

Chicago, Illinois 60664-0629

Phone 312-793-7987

Fax 312-793-8734

Things to Remember:

  1. All existing orders remain in effect until a court or an administrative agency modifies the order.

  2. Your support order may be modified (increased or decreased) based on the income of the non-custodial parent and state law.

  3. DCSS staff cannot provide legal advice to you.

Only attorneys are qualified to give you legal advice.You may need to seek the advice of a private attorney or contact your local legal aid society to advise you about finding low-cost counsel if you cannot afford a private attorney.

If You Have Questions

If you have any other child support related questions, or to report information, call the Child Support Customer Service Call Center toll free at 1-800-447-4278. TTY 1-800-526-5812.

HFS 3588 (R-7-14)

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Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

JB Pritzker, Governor • Theresa Eagleson, Director

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