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Chicago Child Support Lawyers

Chicago Attorneys Handling Matters of Child Support in Illinois

Divorce is a stressful and emotionally trying process. When children are involved, the battle between spouses can become even more contentious. In any divorce involving children, both parents presumably want what is best for the child or children. This is also true for the court. A child support order is determined by what is reasonable and necessary for the support of the child or children, based on the parties’ combined net income. It is presumed that the guidelines represent the amount of support that is reasonable and necessary, unless it can be demonstrated to the court that circumstances exist that would make the guideline amount inappropriate.

If you are concerned about how the court will calculate the child support amount or you are concerned whether your children will receive the financial support they need, our dedicated Chicago child support attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, can help. We understand the laws and the court process inside and out, giving us the necessary knowledge and experience to ensure that your child is properly provided for. Call our Chicago office at (312) 332-2915 to discuss your case.

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Illinois Child Support Guidelines

Since 2017, the state of Illinois has followed an income-share model for calculating child support obligations. According to Section 505 of Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) 750, "...the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for support." In addition, it also states that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services can calculate a child support obligation “that reflects the percentage of combined net income that parents living in the same household in this State ordinarily spend on their child.” This model combines both parents’ net incomes to determine the normal amount of support a child would receive if the parents lived together, and assigns each parent a percentage of that support. Based on these laws, support is linked with parenting time and child allocation.

The courts will follow these four steps when calculating child support:

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

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Outside the Guidelines

The application of this formula may be deemed inappropriate after consideration of the best interests of the child due to one or more relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Financial resources and needs of the child;
  • Financial resources and needs of the parents;
  • Child's standard of living had the marriage remained intact;
  • Emotional and physical condition of the child; and
  • Educational needs of the child.

If the court does decide to deviate from the guidelines, it must provide the reasons for that deviation.

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Child Support Retaliation

Child support retaliation refers to when one party denies the other child support in response to a perceived slight or because they feel their rights to parenting time with the child have been infringed on. Even if the guardian of your child denies you parenting time you still owe child support, as the two things are not connected.

The court will look down on any perceived attempts to get out of child support. Even if the other party broke the agreement first by not allowing you to see your child, you may face repercussions from the court for holding back the financial aid your child needs.

If you are being denied your rightful parenting time, you should contact your attorney so that the issue may be dealt with by the court. Taking matters into your own hands by using child support retaliation will ultimately get you nowhere.

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If You Can No Longer Pay Child Support

Financial situations change. Life is impossible to predict, and you may find yourself facing difficult times, monetarily speaking, due to no fault of your own. Of course, you want to provide support to your child, but you must also be able to take care of yourself as well. Thankfully, you have the right to have your child support order modified if you have suffered a substantial change in circumstances.

During a modification proceeding, the court will consider the child support guidelines mentioned above, as well as any evidence you present that shows a change in your ability to make the payments. From there, they will decide whether the child support amount should be lowered or not. Although the decision will always rest with the court, you will have a high chance of succeeding if you work with a skilled attorney who will argue for your rights.

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Illinois Child Support Attorneys Committed to Obtaining the Best Possible Results

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, our dedicated child support lawyers in Chicago have years of experience handling divorce cases involving children and are committed to obtaining the best support arrangement for you and your child. We have been devoted to family law for over 30 years and hold the needs of our clients and their families above all else. If you are concerned about what will happen to you and your child after divorce, contact us today at (312) 332-2915 for a consultation. We look forward to answering questions about child support and addressing all of the concerns you may have.

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Chicago Family Law Lawyers Answer Child Support FAQs

Whether you have been designated the allocated parent or the supporting parent by the court, 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 family law 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?

Can the amount of support be modified?

What happens if the supporting parent misses a payment?

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: 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 a 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 misses a payment?

A: If a parent fails to meet his/her child support obligations, then he/she can be considered delinquent under Illinois state laws. Failing to pay child support can result in several penalties, including:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Property liens on business assets
  • Interest accrual
  • Seized tax refunds
  • The loss of professional licenses, including a driver’s license
  • Criminal charges, including a Class A Misdemeanor

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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.

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Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

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