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Wheaton family law attorneyOne of the most important considerations in a divorce or any co-parenting situation is making sure that children are well provided for by both parents. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you bear the responsibility to contribute financially to your children’s food, clothing, shelter, health, and education. However, as your financial situation changes, especially during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find it difficult to keep up with the payments in your original child support order. If you have recently been laid off or have experienced an involuntary drop in income, you should consider pursuing a modification to your order.

How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support payments are determined by combining both parents’ monthly net incomes and allocating an equitable percentage of the child support obligation to each parent. The calculation also considers the number of children, their needs, and the standard of living they would have experienced in a two-parent household. Typically, the custodial parent fulfills their obligation by spending more time and money caring for the children directly, while the non-custodial parent is expected to make monthly payments to the custodial parent. Because each parent’s income is a significant factor in the calculation, if you have experienced a change in your income, it is important to seek a modification to the order whether you are the custodial or the non-custodial parent.

How to Seek a Modification to a Child Support Order

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) specifies that a child support order can be modified when there is a significant change in the non-custodial parent’s income, but either parent can request a modification at any time if a major change has occurred. After losing your job, you can contact DHFS to request a modification, and you will then be asked to certify your income and expenses, including any unemployment income you are receiving. The Division of Child Support Services will review your case and notify you of any changes to your existing order based on new calculations. If your modification is approved, the decreased payments can be applied retroactively to the date you filed for modification, but until then you should continue making payments according to your previous order to avoid facing penalties.

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DuPage County parenting time lawyersAs more families work toward amicable splits, the rate of full joint custody has increased. In addition, there are studies that highlight the potential benefits of a near equal time split between parents. Unfortunately, communication between divorcing parties can be stressful, even when both are focused on the well-being and best interests of their children. Gain some helpful tips for minimizing issues (and unnecessary stress) in your joint custody plan in the following sections.

1. Find a Way to Communicate Effectively

Managing a kid’s schedule is difficult enough when working out of one home. Split the bills and responsibilities and things can get downright confusing. Effective communication is the key to reducing stressors while managing schedules during a divorce. You can also incorporate online applications, such as shared family calendars.

2. Be Mindful of Your Ex’s Schedule

Even when things are tense between you and your spouse, you will want to try and be as mindful of their schedule as possible. Show up on time for pick-ups and drop-offs. If an occasional change of plans occurs, be as flexible as possible. In short, focus on being as mindful of your spouse’s schedule as you want them to be of yours.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhile even happily married parents can disagree over the best interests of their child, those who are going through a divorce are far more likely to argue excessively over the matter. Sometimes this is because there truly is a risk to the child’s well-being, but other times, it can be related to a vindictive or alienating spouse. Learn more about what happens in these situations, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can help you mitigate against such issues. 

Parents Disagree Over Child’s Football Career

In an unprecedented Pennsylvania divorce case, two parents are fighting over whether their son should be allowed to continue his football career. At age 17, he has already suffered three previous concussions. His mother has not questioned their son’s doctors, who say there is no reason why he cannot continue playing. His father says he is concerned that continuing to play could cause severe permanent damage. He is filing suit against the mother as a way to advocate for his son, but he fears that his concerns will be dismissed. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyersDivorce can take a toll on everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical being, but it is children who are typically the most vulnerable to long-term issues. As such, parents are encouraged to do everything that they can to protect their children from the effects of divorce. Learn more, including how an experienced family law attorney can help with the process, using the following information.

Keep the Child Out of the Middle

Parents do not typically place their child in the middle of the divorce intentionally. Instead, they typically make a series of small, seemingly unimportant decisions that can compromise their child’s emotional well-being. They may overshare details about the divorce or the reasons why the relationship failed. Some may find themselves asking about the other parent’s personal life, or they may lean on their child while struggling through the divorce process. All these actions – and any others that place the child in the middle of the relationship – can cause severe and irreparable emotional or mental damage to the child, even if the acts are unintentional.

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DuPage County family law attorneysAs most adults know, happy endings are less common in real life than in storybooks, and even when one does come, it rarely looks quite like you envision. The Disney Channel is reflecting this in a new television series, Raven’s Home, a follow-up to the old hit show, That’s So Raven. Their goal? To show that divorce can be scary, especially for kids, but lots of families get through it, and some are stronger and better for it in the end.

Strong and Successful Co-Parenting

Raven and Devon were high school sweethearts, and they were attempting to make a long-distance relationship work when the original show ended. Now they have twin girls, have recently gone through a divorce, and everyone is trying to find their new version of “normal.”

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