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Wheaton family law attorneysIt takes a great deal of money to raise a child, especially one with special needs. There are often added expenses for medical treatment, therapies, and perhaps even therapeutic or medical equipment. Thankfully, when parents are separated or divorced, these added expenses can be factored into an order for child support. Learn more, including how a seasoned family law attorney can improve the outcome of your case, in the following sections. 

How Child Support is Calculated in Illinois 

Illinois uses what is known as the “income shares” model to determine the amount of support a parent owes. The process starts with an economic table, supplied by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to determine the cost of raising the child. 

That amount is then compared to the net income of each parent to determine what their obligation of support should be. The closer the receiving parent’s income is to the obligated paying parent, the less the support will generally be. The goal is to try and balance out the cost and ensure that neither parent is overly burdened by the cost of supporting the child. 

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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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Illinois child support enforcement lawyersWhile most parents will go to considerable lengths to ensure their child has everything they need, there are those who seem to think of their financial obligations as voluntary. Maybe they simply want to punish the parent who receives support and does not care that it is also harming the child, or perhaps they consider their wants more important. Either way, the failure to pay court-ordered child support can have dire consequences, both for the receiving parent and the child. Thankfully, there are some strategies that you can employ to collect your arrears. Learn more, including how an experienced attorney can assist, with help from the following information.

Garnishments and Property Liens

When an obligated parent has the funds or assets to pay their arrears but refuses to do so, receiving parents can seek a wage garnishment or a lien on any property that the obligor owns. If the parent does not have any wages and is collecting unemployment, the receiving parent may request that child support be withheld from their unemployment benefits. One can also attempt to have the obligor’s tax refund intercepted if they owe arrears. Alternatively, if the parent does not have any real property but has a substantial amount in their retirement benefits, the receiving parent may seek an order to have the funds pulled from the retirement account with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

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Posted on in Child Support

income withholding violations, DuPage County child support lawyersWhen it comes to child support, sometimes the court imposes an obligation on someone other than the parent who is paying child support. This often comes into play when child support is paid directly from the employer of the person paying child support to the parent who is receiving support. However, sometimes there are issues with the employer’s withholding of this income. Income withholding violations are serious matters that can result in a child not getting his or her needs met.

Withholding

The state of Illinois puts a high priority on making sure that the children in the state are supported and have their needs met. As part of this, in order to make sure that court ordered child support is paid timely and in full, the default payment arrangement for child support in Illinois is through income withholding.

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What Happens if You Do Not Pay Child Support in Illinois, DuPage County child support lawyersIn many cases, one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other upon completion of (or during) the divorce. However, sometimes the payor parent does not pay the child support that he or she owes, based on certain circumstances. There are many consequences for failing to pay child support and it is important to understand these if you have a child support obligation in the state of Illinois.

Child Support Enforcement Program

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services' Division of Child Support Services has a Child Support Enforcement Program. This program monitors child support payments and can help step in if a parent alerts the agency that he or she is not receiving the mandated child support payments. The Child Support Enforcement Program will either begin collection activity against the payor parent or, if the parent that owes money collects public assistance, it will take the money directly from that parent’s public assistance benefits.

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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-changes.jpgState Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) sponsored legislation that would change the way child support is calculated. According to the Chicago Tribune, Senator Hastings said, "Illinois has a lot of archaic laws. The child support laws on the books do not consider the modern family when determining the necessary child support for many families." HB 3982 would change the child support laws from taking into account just one parent’s income, to using both parents’ incomes to determine the amount of child support that should be paid. Most states do take into account the income of both parents. 

Current Child Support Laws

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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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