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Chicago Attorneys Answer Child Support FAQs

Whether you have been designated the allocated parent or the supporting parent by the court in a divorce, it is important to be aware of your rights in the state of Illinois. You should not be paying too much in child support, nor should your children be denied the financial assistance they need. Contact the experienced Chicago child support attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, if you have any questions regarding child support or any other family law issue.

Who is required to pay child support?

When does child support terminate?

How is the amount of child support determined?

Can the amount of support be modified?

What happens if the supporting parent moves to another state?

What happens if the supporting parent dies?


Q: Who is required to pay child support?

A: Both parents have a duty to provide for their children's physical, mental, and emotional health needs. Parents may also be ordered to provide for their adult children who are disabled or attending school. Additionally, the allocated parent can hold the supporter liable for the amount of public assistance owed to the child.

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Q: When does child support terminate?

A: Child support does not always end after a child reaches the age of majority (18). In Illinois, child support traditionally ends upon a child's graduation from high school or 18th birthday, whichever occurs later. Adult children have the right to continued support for education or if they suffer from a physical or mental disability. Termination, otherwise known as emancipation, generally occurs when the adult child completes his/her education, marries, is living an independent life, or enlists in the military.

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Q: How is the amount of child support determined?

A: Illinois law has recently adopted a new approach to calculating child support that intends to make child support obligations more equitable. To calculate child support, courts take the following steps:

  • Determine each parent’s monthly net income;
  • Add the parents’ monthly incomes together for the combined net monthly income;
  • From a State-prepared “schedule of basic child support obligations,” select the corresponding amount of support based on the net income and number of children; and
  • Calculate each parent’s percentage share of the basic child support obligation.

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Q: Can the amount of support be modified?

A: Yes, but only under certain circumstances and with approval from the court. The party seeking the change must be able to establish a substantial change in circumstances to warrant the modification. The other party may provide his/her own argument opposing the modification. If both parties agree to the modification, the judge must still approve it in order for it to be enforceable. Examples of circumstances that generally justify modification include changes in either parent's income and an increase in the cost of living.

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Q: What happens if the supporting parent moves to another state?

A: Under the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (RURESA), once a child support order is issued, it becomes enforceable by family courts in all states. This means a parent cannot "escape" a child support order simply by moving to another state. In essence, the order "follows" him/her.

Under RURESA, the allocated parent can collect support in two ways:

  • Register the order in the county where the supporting parent has moved to.
  • Have the family court in his/her home state commence an action to enforce the support.

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Q: What happens if the supporting parent dies?

A: Even if the paying parent dies, the support obligation may still be enforced against his/her estate, or modified, revoked, or commuted to a lump sum payment. To discuss the facts and circumstances of your particular situation in a comprehensive case evaluation, call our office today at (312) 332-2915 or submit an online contact form and we'll get back to you shortly.

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Illinois Child Support Issues Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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