Child support is an important source of financial assistance for a single parent. If you are an unmarried or divorced parent, you may have questions and concerns about getting your child support. You may wonder if your child’s other parent is still required to pay support even if he or she is unemployed. The answer to this question depends on the reason for the unemployment and other factors.
Is the Unemployment Voluntary or Involuntary?
Millions of parents have lost their jobs or had to find lower-paying work due to COVID-19 shutdowns. They may be doing everything they can to afford their child support obligation but end up falling short of the expected amount. On the other hand, some parents attempt to evade child support responsibilities by claiming that they cannot find adequate employment. The first question that must be answered regarding child support obligations for unemployed or underemployed parents is whether unemployment or underemployment is voluntary. Has the parent quit his or her job or been laid off? Has the parent made genuine efforts to gain suitable employment? If the parent’s unemployment is voluntary, is this unemployment in the child’s best interests?
Income Shares Method for Child Support Calculations
Illinois uses a child support calculation method called “income shares.” Each parent’s net income is used to determine a child support obligation that is reasonable and affordable while still providing the financial support the child needs. According to the formula, the lower a parent’s income, the less he or she pays in child support. However, If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed and this is not in the child’s best interests, the court may use the parent’s potential income to determine child support. This is the income that the parent could be earning if he or she were fully employed. If a parent is involuntarily unemployed or underemployed and makes a legitimate effort to find and maintain adequate employment, the parent’s actual income will be used to determine the child support obligation.
Contact a Markham Child Support Lawyer
If your child’s other parent has not been paying child support or you are a parent who has lost your job and you wish to lower your child support obligation, contact The Foray Firm. An experienced Joliet family law attorney from our firm can help you establish child support for the first time, change an existing child support order, seek child support from a non-paying parent, and more. Call our office at 312-702-1293 and set up a personalized consultation.