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Illinois child support lawyersParents who receive child support often rely on it to ensure their child’s needs are met. What happens, though, if the paying parent falls behind or refuses to make their payments? Besides placing a financial strain on the receiving parent, and potentially the child as well, the paying parent then becomes delinquent on their support. If that support is paid under an existing order with the courts, the receiving parent also has recourse for pursuing their overdue support. Learn more, including when the assistance of an experienced family law attorney may be necessary.

Determining How Much Support is Owed

Before pursuing overdue child support, a receiving parent is encouraged to first determine how much support is owed. If the payments are made through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), the parent can request payment records directly from SDU. Parents who receive their payments directly through the courts can request such records from the circuit clerk. If payments are made directly to the receiving parent, they must bear the burden of proof in court, meaning they must supply the court with evidence that proves the child support payments were never made.

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child support order, child support payments, pay child support, failure to pay child support, DuPage County child support attorneysIn Illinois, the law places an obligation on both parents to support their children. After a thorough review of the finances, a court will determine how much one parent must pay the other in monthly child support.

The goal of child support, according to Illinois law, is to provide funds “reasonable and necessary for the support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct.” Under the law, parents have a duty to pay for the educational, physical, mental, and emotional health needs of the child.

There are standard child support guidelines in the law, and a court may deviate from the guidelines based on the child’s needs or the parent’s ability to pay. For example, it is likely that a court will order that the child’s standard of living, had the parents not divorced, be maintained.

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DuPage County family law attorneys, child supportParents must stick to a court’s order on child support—an order which is intended to cover the costs of basic necessities. However, there is more to a child’s life than food, shelter, and clothing.

Under Illinois law, a judge has the discretion to include additional expenditures in the amount of child support if doing so is in the child’s best interests and is equitable between the parents. Not all costs will qualify for an additional financial stipend above and beyond the basic obligations, so discuss your options with a knowledgeable child support attorney.

Qualifying Expenses

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DuPage County family lawyers, child support enforcementIf you are a parent who receives financial support for minor children by court order, you may be familiar with certain Illinois laws that allow you to pursue the payor to enforce payment for amounts due. However, the matter may be more complex if the paying parent lives or has moved to another state.

Federal law includes regulations that may provide you with a legal remedy in certain cases when the other parent fails to abide by child support obligations. It is wise to discuss federal law on child support enforcement with an experienced child support lawyer and understand some of the basics.

Failure to Pay Child Support Obligations: A Crime Under Federal Law

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NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

b2ap3_thumbnail_pay-child-support-DuPage-County.jpgWhen considering divorce, couples often question the financial situation that may result. One major question a divorcing couple with children often has is how much money a parent must pay in child support. Unfortunately, not all couples see eye to eye on matters of child support, or other family matters such as parenting time and parental responsibility. Therefore, it is essential to speak with a skilled family law attorney who can inform you of the law and guide you through the process.

Which Parent Pays? 

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Illinois Man Jailed for Not Paying Child SupportA 35-year-old Illinois man was recently sent to jail for not paying child support. The man was arrested and charged with contempt of court for not paying child support fees. The judge said that he could be released if he posts $250 bail. This recent police beat report is notable because it is relatively rare that someone will be jailed for not paying child support. However, it is possible; as such, parents who are responsible for paying child support should not simply stop making payments without first consulting with a skilled legal professional in the area.

Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act

The penalties for not paying child support are governed by the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act. This statute is a great place to start to look at the law, which also governs penalties for refusing to pay spousal support.

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DuPage County child support attorneys, child support paymentsDuring the lifetime of a child, circumstances can change greatly that may mean that the amount you pay or receive in child support should be altered to take these changes into account. This is called a “modification” of child support.

Illinois law provides circumstances that may allow parties to go to court for a change. However, keep in mind that because family law is centered on the best interests of the child, judges are generally able to find outside of what the statute says if it is in the child’s best interest. A qualified family law attorney can help you with the specifics of your case.

Getting into Court

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NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

DuPage County child support attorneys, child support paymentsIf you are thinking about divorce and do not plan to have significant parenting responsibilities, you may be wondering how much child support you will have to pay. Every state has a different formula to calculate child support, and the information below only applies to Illinois child support, though other states often have similar calculations.

When thinking about child support it is important to remember that every case and family is different and you may be required to pay significantly less or more than the basic percentage. You need to talk to a knowledgeable child support lawyer to see how these guidelines will fit your situation.

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DuPage County child support attorney, child support paymentsDivorces can be lengthy, costly, emotional, and very difficult for families. Moreover, several significant issues must be addressed with regard to any children involved. 

Whether you are the custodial parent or not, decisions about your child's financial stability are critical and require your full attention. Understanding child support and how it works can help you make the best decisions about your child's care and welfare.

What is Child Support?

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Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support lawyers, terminating child supportIf you and your spouse decide to separate and you have children, then you must collectively make decisions regarding co-parenting and custody. As part of the decision, one of the parents may take on the responsibility of providing child support to the parent who has greater parental responsibility for the child. Under Illinois law, child support is determined by using a formula that calculates support as a percentage of the supporting parent’s net income. The exact percentage depends of the total number of children the parents have together.

When is Terminating Child Support Legal?

Once a court orders child support, the order is in effect until the court or other significant events terminate the order. Scenarios in which child support may be terminated including the following:

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DuPage County child support lawyers, child support orderWhen a couple decides to divorce or separate, they have to figure out issues regarding their children. Of course, a child’s primary residency and child support payments are both critical issues. The dissolution of a marriage creates a new family dynamic for the parents and their child. These dynamics will continue to change over time. It is possible that the parent responsible for paying child support may need to request a modification to child support. As family dynamics change, parents should understand how a court will examine a request to modify a child support order.

Determining Child Support

When a divorce is finalized and a support order is appropriate, then a court will follow guidelines provided by Illinois law to determine how much child support a parent should pay. Typically, the non-custodial parent will pay support. The amount of support will be based on his or her net income, the number of children supported, and other factors the court finds relevant. 

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DuPage County family law attorney, child support ordersIn Illinois, and in several other states, child support is paid to the custodial parent. Child support is meant to cover the bare essentials, which include the cost of food, clothing and shelter. The amount of child support you are required to pay is based on your net income and the amount of children you have.

If you are a party to a child support order, one of the many questions going through your head may be, "Can this child support order ever be modified?" Depending on the circumstances of your case, it is possible to reduce the amount of child support you are paying

Modifying the Child Support Order

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Imputed Income for Child Support

Even though parents can and do choose to end their relationship with each other, the parental bond with their children endures. Both parents are legally obligated to support their children, even if they do not choose to maintain a relationship with them. Because of this continuing obligation, child support issues are often the most intensely contested areas during a divorce or custody proceeding.

Some parents attempt to hide income, or reduce their income by taking a lower-paying job, just to reduce the amount of child support that they are required to pay. Doing so, however, can lead to trouble with the law.

Illinois law has provided a mechanism for judges, who suspect that parents are trying to avoid their duty to pay child support, to bring parents into line. This mechanism, known as imputing income, involves assigning a higher salary to a parent than they actually earn.

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NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

DuPage County child support lawyer, garnishment of wages, wage garnishmentIn the state of Illinois, court-ordered child support is usually collected through your employer. The paycheck that your employer gives you will already have the garnishment taken out of it. If you are supporting one child, 20 percent of your pay will be withheld, and if you are supporting two children, 28 percent will go to them. For three or more children, the proportions of your pay that are garnished increases, up to a maximum of 50 percent.

Garnishment for Debts on Top of Child Support

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NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

illinois child support lawIf you ask an individual person what his or her income is, he or she would likely give you the amount of his or her salary. While that is, of course, income, it would not be the only number included within the term income for child support calculation purposes. What payments, then, will be counted as income for a non-custodial parent’s child support calculations? The Statute

Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act deals with child support and the accompanying calculations. The statute clarifies that when calculating child support amounts, the statutory percentages must be applied to the payor’s (non-custodial parent who will be responsible for paying the child support) net income. The statute then goes on to state that net income is defined as “the total of all income from all sources” less the specific deductions listed.

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child supportMany custodial parents depend on the noncustodial parent’s child support payments to ensure that they have at least their most basic needs covered. Sadly, those who depend on this support often do not actually receive it – meaning both the parents and, more importantly, the children, will suffer. In a 2013 press release, the United States Census Bureau reported that only 62.3 percent of all child support owed in 2011 (the latest year for which data was available) was actually paid to the parent owed the support. Fortunately, there are legal actions that can be taken to force the other parent to start paying the child support.

How to Enforce a Court Order

If you have a court order to receive child support, there are ways to legally enforce this order so that parent starts paying. Some of the legal actions you can take include:

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NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

child support collectionChild support cases often present unfortunate situations. In some matters where there is a complete failure to make child support payments for an extended period of time, the one who truly suffers is the child involved. According to a recent news article, in St. Clair County, the State’s Attorney is focusing funding and efforts on collecting child support payments.

Increased Funding

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