1. Support Obligations Can Be Modified - In most cases, a Court has the power to change a support obligation in the event there is a substantial change in circumstances. Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("IMDMA") Section 510 states that a substantial change in circumstances is presumed when there is a change of more than 20% in the paying spouse's income. While parties can agree to make spousal maintenance payments non-modifiable, Illinois law states that child support payments are always modifiable upon a substantial change in circumstances.
2. Court Assistance Must Be Sought Immediately - Child and spousal support payments are considered individual judgments as they come due. Thereafter, they cannot be undone. Moreover, a petition with a court to modify support only function to modify payments due from the date the petition was filed; any payments owed prior to filing cannot be changed by a court. Therefore, if you lose your job or your income changes, you must act quickly and get a petition to modify on file with the court as quickly as possible.
If you or someone you know has a spousal support or child support obligation and just lost their job, consult a knowledgeable attorney immediately to protect yourself.