Studies show that it costs well over a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child from birth through age 18. This works out to approximately $17,000 a year, not including extra costs such as private school tuition, childcare, and college expenses. Single parents need all the help they can get when it comes to paying child-related costs, which is why child support is so crucial.
If you are an unmarried parent, you may have questions about your entitlement to child support or your obligation to pay child support. How is child support calculated? What happens if you have children from multiple partners? How much child support does a parent pay each month?
Child Support is Calculated Using Both Parents’ Incomes in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has created child support guidelines that the court uses to calculate the amount of child support. The guidelines are based on both parents’ incomes and other factors, such as parenting time and the number of children. If one parent does not have an income, the court may use imputed income or estimated income to determine child support. If you have the majority of the parenting time, or time spent caring for your child, you will be the recipient of child support, and the other parent will be responsible for paying child support.
Paternity or Parentage Must be Established Before Child Support Will Be Ordered
Establishing parentage is a crucial issue for unmarried parents. Parentage (sometimes called paternity when referring to fathers) is usually established when both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity or if the father is adjudicated as the father in court. Once parentage has been established, the court can enter a child support order.
If you are an unmarried mother, make sure you take the steps to verify the father’s paternity. You cannot request an official child support order until you do this. If the father is cooperative, establishing paternity is relatively simple. If he is not cooperative, you may need to file a petition with the court.
Child Support Modifications in Illinois
In Illinois, the court can modify a child support order if either parent’s circumstances have substantially changed. This could include changes in income or employment status, changes in the child’s needs, or a substantial increase or decrease in parenting time. If you need to have your child support modified due to a change in circumstances, you should file a motion to modify your child support order with the court.
Contact Our DuPage County Child Support Lawyer
At [[title]], we recognize how crucial child support is for unmarried parents. Our Lombard family law attorneys represent mothers and fathers during child support-related legal matters. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.