wheaton child support lawyerEvery child deserves to have a safe, comfortable home in which to grow up. When parents get divorced, one of the court’s main duties is to make decisions that will benefit the children of the marriage. Often, this means that one of the spouses will be compelled to make child support payments to the other in order to help them raise the children.  

When Is Child Support Awarded? 

Child support is almost universally granted to one of the spouses during a divorce that involves the parents of minor children. Illinois courts base their child support decisions on an “income shares” model. This model considers both parents’ incomes and the number of children, as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has. The amount of child support is based on an estimation of the total cost of raising the child. This cost is then equitably divided between the parents based on each of their respective net incomes. The parent with more parenting time will usually receive the support payments.  

Can I Appeal a Child Support Order? 

If you believe that a mistake was made when the court awarded child support, you have the right to appeal the decision. However, a person ordered to pay child support cannot appeal the decision just because they do not like the result. In order to appeal a child support order, a petitioner must have legal grounds to do so. For example, if you believe that insufficient evidence or prejudice played a role in the ruling, you may benefit from appealing the decision.  

What Happens if Someone Refuses to Pay Child Support? 

If a parent ordered to pay child support fails to comply, he or she may face serious consequences. In addition to hiring an attorney to seek compliance, the Illinois Division of Child Support Services can also enforce wage garnishment, property liens, revocation of licenses, and interception of tax refunds in order to collect child support payments. If a parent fails to pay court-ordered child support for more than a six-month period or they owe more than $5,000, they may face criminal prosecution.  

I Have Doubts About My Paternity. Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support? 

When a married woman becomes pregnant, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. In cases where the parents were not married, paternity may need to be established. This can be done voluntarily if both parents complete a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form (VAP). If there is any ambiguity as to who the child’s father is, DNA genetic testing can be used to establish paternity. Because these types of situations can become very complex, a skilled attorney may need to step in to help those with doubts about their paternity. 

Let a Wheaton Child Support Attorney Help 

If you are a parent and you have questions about child support, contact a skilled DuPage County family lawyer to get the help you need. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.