Whether you are an unmarried parent or one that will soon be divorced, you may have several questions about child support. Illinois law requires both of a child’s parents to contribute to the child’s financial needs. Most commonly, this is accomplished by the parent with less parenting time paying child support to the parent with greater parenting time. Of course, child support is not always as straightforward as it seems.
How Much Child Support Does a Parent Pay?
The amount a parent pays in child support varies from case to case and is typically calculated using a set formula. The most influential factor in Illinois child support payments is the difference between the parents’ net incomes. The greater the difference between their respective incomes, the greater the paying parent’s contribution.
Does Child Support Decrease if Parents Have Equal Parenting Time?
You may wonder if a parent has to pay as much in child support if they are responsible for a significant portion of the parenting time (formerly called visitation). When both parents have 40 percent or more of the parenting time, meaning 146 overnights or more a year, this is called a “shared parenting” child custody arrangement. Child support may be decreased proportionally.
How Can I Get Child Support?
If you are a parent who has never received child support, it is crucial that you seek an official child support order. Do not assume that a causal agreement with the other parent will suffice. In order to receive child support from your child’s father, you may first need to establish paternity. In some cases, this requires a DNA paternity test. Once paternity has been established, you can petition the court for child support.
What if a Parent Does Not Pay?
If your child’s other parent is subject to a child support order and he or she is not paying, you can take steps to enforce the child support order. The Illinois Health and Family Services Department of Child Support Services is responsible for enforcing child support in Illinois. A family law attorney can help you pursue administrative remedies through the Department of Child Support Services or enforce the child support order in court. Parents who do not pay child support may have their assets seized, or wages garnished. They could even be subject to criminal penalties for violating a court order.
Contact an Illinois Child Support Lawyer
If you have a child support-related issue, contact an experienced Will County family law attorney from The Foray Firm for help. Our team of skilled legal professionals represents both payers and recipients of child support. Call us today at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation.