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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 child support attorneys, enforcing child support ordersA court will enter a child support order as part of the divorce process in Illinois, but it is important for both parents to understand how the law provides for enforcement of payment provisions. There are a number of protections in place intended to ensure that financial support never becomes a problem for a parent caring for a minor child. Moreover, there may be harsh consequences for someone who tries to shirk his or her responsibilities.

An Illinois child support lawyer can help you understand your rights and assist in enforcement efforts. Consult with a legal professional if you are facing challenges in dealing with your ex-spouse.

Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act 

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Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support attorneys, child support servicesChild support is not just an issue that is between parents, but also a matter of concern for the state of Illinois. The state has an interest in making sure that all of the children in it are provided for. Therefore, the state has child support services that both parents can use to help make sure that child support is paid on time and in full.

The child support services department is part of The Illinois Department Healthcare and Family Services. While the state offers many different kinds of child support services, there are several things that can only be done with the assistance of a knowledgeable child support attorney.

Paternity

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DuPage County child support attorneys, child support claim, sperm donorIn Illinois, there is a statute that regulates a sperm donor’s liability for child support. Illinois law removes child support liability from any sperm donor as long as the insemination takes place with the assistance of a licensed physician. This is the only time donor agreements are specifically upheld in Illinois.

This September, a Cook County case dismissed a woman’s claim for child support from a sperm donor with whom the woman claimed she also had a romantic relationship. The Chicago Law Bulletin reports that this case is the first published case law that concerns donor agreements.

With the exception of truly unique circumstances, biological parents are generally not able to contract away their responsibilities for child support without court approval. The main circumstance where the court may agree to terminate the responsibility for child support is if one or both of the biological parents voluntarily give up their rights. In addition, there must be at least one person who is willing and able to adopt the child and take on those responsibilities.

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Posted on in Child Support

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 mistakes, DuPage County child support attorneysIssues of child support are often about more than money and can be very emotional for all parties involved—having to face an ex-spouse in court can be difficult and nerve wracking. Hence, mistakes may be made by both the party paying child support and the party receiving child support. Still, many (if not all) of these common mistakes can be avoided with the assistance of a knowledgeable child support attorney. Consider the following mistakes and how they can be avoided. 

Not Speaking With an Attorney Early Enough

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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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Illinois Record Child Support Ruling SettledA child support case where a Cook County judge ruled that a woman was due $2.3 million from her ex-husband and his employer was recently settled out of court with a settlement listed to be $299,000. This case centers around Scott Bos, the father of the children, and his employer at Country Chevrolet where he was a finance manager. Bos was supposed to pay child support to his ex-wife Lisa Watson and Country Chevrolet was supposed to withhold those payments from his paycheck as per a court order that was entered. However, Country Chevrolet refused to withhold the payments from Bos’ checks and argued that he was an independent contractor instead of an employee and therefore they could not withhold the money. The judge disagreed and sided with Watson finding that Country Chevrolet had a duty to withhold the money from Bos’ check.

How Did the Amount Get So High?

It is important to note that the main defendant was Country Chevrolet and they were responsible for the vast majority of the money awarded to Watson. In 2002 Watson and Bos

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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 for a Child With DisabilitiesIf you are ordered by the Illinois court to pay child support, generally that support obligation will end at age 18 or as long as the child is still in high school. However, when a child is disabled then a parent who pays child support may be obligated to pay child support even after the child reaches adulthood.

Child Support Rules Generally

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DuPage County child custody attorneys, sperm donor lawsThe New York Post recently reported on a New York City professor who is passionate about helping single and same-sex partnered women get pregnant. However, instead of going through a sperm bank, he has a more unorthodox method and donates sperm in more casual locations, including city bathrooms. Ari Nagel has fathered 22 children around the country, including in Illinois, this way. While many of the children were conceived using sperm he gave to the women, he does admit that about half of the children were fathered the “old fashioned way”. What is especially interesting from a family law standpoint about Nagel and the children he fathered is that he pays child support for five of them. Of course, many fathers pay child support, but Nagel claims that he had agreed in advance with the women that he was providing a service for them and that he had no financial obligation to the potential children. However, even though there may have been an agreement, New York does not recognize donor agreements outside of assistive reproductive technology centers, such as sperm banks.

Illinois Laws for Sperm Donors

Since donor laws vary by state, if Nagel lived in Illinois, there could have been a different result, although not likely. Illinois allows the biological father to decline any responsibility if the sperm is first given to a licensed physician. However, if the donor provides the sperm directly to the mother and it is done outside of a medical context, there are only a few ways to terminate parental rights, and support responsibilities, for a donor. The court will allow a sperm donor to give up his parental rights if there is another person to take his place and adopt the child. Illinois does allow second-parent adoptions for same-sex couples. The court can also terminate parental rights when there is ongoing abuse or neglect, or parents can voluntarily give up rights so others can adopt the child.

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DuPage County child support attorneys, child support enforcementLawmakers in Illinois ended the session without passing a budget. Therefore, without a budget, several programs in Illinois are running a shortfall or are at risk of closing. The Child Support Services Program, a program which helps many people, especially low income families, get the child support to which they are entitled, is being adversely affected by the stalemate.

Budget Issues

As of the evening of May 31, it appears that Illinois will go a second year in a row without passing a budget. ABC 7 Chicago reports that an agreement for an actual budget is unlikely to happen by the deadline between the Democrats and the Republicans in the government. The deadlock has resulted in Illinois working without a budget for the last 11 months. In the meantime, stopgap measures will likely be voted into place to make sure the government keeps going. However, the lack of an official budget is wreaking havoc on government programs, including the Child Support Services Program.

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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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Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support attorneys, withholding child supportA non-custodial parent may refuse to pay child support. He or she may cite reasons for not complying with child support orders such as concerns regarding how the payments are utilized by the custodial parent or a lack of visitation. Unfortunately, this is an common issue.

If you are a non-custodial parent and are required to pay child support by a court, then it is important to understand that your duty to pay child support is not tied to your visitation or custody rights. In other words, you may not withhold child support, even if your former spouse is unjustly denying you visitation or parenting time. In fact, it is possible that a non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support yet does not have custodial or visitation rights. 

In Illinois, the law regarding child support is focused on the best interests of the child, not the parent. Additionally, Illinois requires non-custodial parents to provide financial support to the custodial parents—children have the right to receive care and support from their parents. The parental responsibility to provide this care does not end because a marriage or relationship is over. If a non-custodial parent withholds or fails to pay child support, the Illinois department of child support services can assist the custodial parent in receiving support. 

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