Child support is a crucial form of financial support for divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois. Both of a child’s parents are expected to contribute financially to his or her upbringing – even if they are not married to each other. Child support allows parents to share child-related expenses including housing, tuition, and other educational costs, clothing, and more. However, child support laws are often confusing and hard to interpret. Read on to learn answers to some of the top questions Illinois parents have about child support.
Which Parent Pays Child Support?
The parent with the greater amount of “parenting time” is the recipient of child support and the parent with less parenting time pays child support. Parenting time used to be called visitation. When both parents have at least 40 percent of the parenting time or 146 overnights with the children, this is a shared parenting situation. Child support payments are modified to reflect the fact that both parents have the child a similar amount of time.
How Much Are Monthly Child Support Payments?
The amount a parent must pay in child support varies from case to case. In Illinois, both parents’ income is used to determine child support. In most cases, a statutory formula is used to calculate the amount a parent pays. However, courts sometimes deviate from the formula.
What If I Need to Change a Child Support Order?
Child support orders may be modified, but only under certain situations. Every three years, parents have the opportunity to participate in a modification review. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will review each parent’s financial situation and other information and determine if the child support order should be changed.
If it has been less than three years since your last modification review, you will need to show evidence of a “substantial change in circumstances.” Examples of a significant change in circumstances include a considerable increase or decrease in each parent’s income, additional child expenses, or job loss.
What Happens If You Do Not Pay Child Support?
Non-payment of child support is considered a serious offense in Illinois. If a parent does not pay, he or she may be subject to property liens, wage garnishment, tax return interception, or even criminal penalties. However, the state only has the authority to enforce official child support orders. Handshake agreements and casual arrangements are not enforceable.
How Can I Get Child Support for the First Time?
If you are getting divorced and wish to seek child support from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, can request child support during your divorce by filing a petition for child support with the court. If you are not married, you can also establish child support by filing a petition with the court. However, you will need to establish the child’s paternity if you have not already done so.
Contact a Naperville Child Support Lawyer
For help with child support issues, contact the trusted Wheaton family law attorneys at Goostree Law Group. Call 630-364-4046 for a free, confidential case assessment.