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

Illinois Statutory Guidelines set a minimum percentage of a parent’s net income that must go towards child support, but judges are free to exceed this minimum. Net income is the amount of earnings that remain after basic deductions have been factored in, including federal and state income tax; Social Security or mandatory retirement contributions; health insurance premiums and necessary medical expenses; union dues; preexisting child support or alimony obligations; repayment of debts necessary for producing of income; and expenses that benefit the child and the other parent. The minimum percentage of the remaining net income that must be paid to support children ranges from 20 percent for one child, to 50 percent for six or more children.

Payment for Additional Expenses

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child support payment, modification of child support, Illinois family law attorney, divorceMany people who have been through a child custody and support proceeding breathe a sigh of relief when the process is over. It is often a long, stressful, and emotional time for all parties involved. However, there are times when the issue deserves to be revisited, since a child support obligation may need to be changed for one reason or another. Illinois law provides for the modification of child support payments when a specified standard is met under certain circumstances.

Circumstances Change

The main reason that a party asks the court to change an award of child support is because something changed either for the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent, or the child. In order to consider a request for modification of a previously awarded child support payment, the law in the state of Illinois requires that the party seeking the modification demonstrates a significant change in circumstances since the time of the last child support order.

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child support, remarriage, second marriage, step family, DuPgae County family lawAfter a divorce, it is common for the former spouse to pay child support, alimony or sometimes both. What happens when one spouse remarries? Remarriage can have an affect on the duration and amount of child support payments the custodial parent (the parent who has primary custody of the child) receives. Therefore, it is worth considering all of the legal consequences before entering into a new marriage.

How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

Child support laws are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act describes specific child support guidelines that the courts must follow to determine how much child support must be paid to the custodial parent. Typically, the amount of child support is calculated by the non-custodial parent’s (the parent who does not have legal custody of the child) net income and the number of children he/she is responsible for. The court is also allowed to consider other factors such as:

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Posted on in Divorce

child custody, relocation, children of divorce, child of divorce, Illinois divorce lawThe dissolution of a marriage can bring with it a number of significant life changes. After divorce, one of the spouses may wish to relocate in order to get a fresh start. Normally, this would not pose a problem, but for an ex-spouse with children, it may not be as easy. Depending on what their child custody plan provides for, a parent may have to follow certain requirements set by law in Illinois in order to permanently or temporarily remove their children from a certain jurisdiction. Parent’s Rights In general, custody plans designate one parent as custodial and the other as non-custodial, even if both parents share time with the children. In fact, the custody plan itself may speak to the issue of removing or relocating the children out of state. Otherwise, Illinois law states that a custodial parent is able to relocate, either permanently or temporarily, with their children as long as they provide the non-custodial parent with advance and sufficient notice of their plans. The non-custodial parent may agree with the move; in that case, the parents may be able to reach an agreement outside of court. If the non-custodial parent is against the move, the custodial parent must ask the court’s permission to relocate. It is important to note that according to Illinois law, a custodial parent does not need a court order to relocate with their children within the state. As long as the move will not affect the non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule, a relocation should be allowed without court involvement or a change to the terms of the custody plan. Illinois Law on Out of State Removal In situations where the parents do not agree about relocation, the law provides protection of a non-custodial parent’s right to have regular visits with their children. In order to procure an order from the court allowing a parent to remove their minor children outside the state of Illinois, certain standards must be met. A custodial parent seeking the court’s permission to relocate must prove that removal is in the child’s best interests, and also must demonstrate an important reason for the move. Important reasons may include a new job prospect or access to certain necessary services that are only available outside the state, such as specific medical treatment. In considering whether the move is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider the following factors, among others:

  • Whether the move will enhance the quality of life for the parent and child;
  • The motives of the parent seeking to relocate;
  • The motives of the non-custodial parent in opposing the move;
  • The custody schedule currently in place;
  • If a realistic visitation schedule can be followed if the move is allowed;
  • The effect the move will have on the non-custodial parent’s visitation;
  • Any potential harm to the child if the move affects the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent;
  • If it is impossible to reach a reasonable visitation schedule; and
  • The overall effect of the non-custodial parent not participating in the child’s life on a daily basis.

Child Custody Attorney If you are considering relocating with your children, or have been served with a relocation request as a non-custodial parent, it is important to seek help from an experienced professional. Contact the family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation. We serve clients in DuPage, Cook, Will, Kane and Kendall Counties.

child support IMAGEFollowing a divorce or separation by parents, a court in Illinois may grant sole physical custody to one party. This parent is usually referred to as the “custodial”parent, and the non-custodial parent will usually still have visitation rights. In most cases children will spend far more time with a custodial parent, and that parent will have more obligations to provide proper care.

 In most situations, the court will also order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to their former partner to help cover childcare expenses. This is logical, as the custodial parent will likely be paying out much more in expenses for child-rearing, and the child support payments will help balance the costs between both parents. But is it possible for the court to order the custodial parent to pay child support to the non-custodial parent? Yes, at least according to an important Illinois appellate family law case last year.  Child Support Decision

Late last year, an Illinois Appellate Court issued an opinion in the case of In re Marriage of Turk. The case originally involved a court order that required a custodial father to pay the non-custodial mother $600 per month in child support. The court was influenced by the fact that the father earned roughly $150,000 per year while the mother earned $10,000 or less.

 The father appealed the decision, arguing, in part, that the relevant Illinois child custody law (Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the Act) (750 ILCS5/505) did not allow the court to order the custodial parent to pay support to the non-custodial parent.

There were many ancillary issues discussed by the court in it opinion. However, with regard to the possibility of an award of child support to the non-custodial parent, the appellate court found that it was within state law for the father to be ordered to pay child support. The court noted that this step might be appropriate when both parents have significant parenting time (though not necessarily equal), both incur significant childcare expenses, and there is sizeable income disparity between the two parties.

 Ultimately, the court ordered the matter back to the trial court for procedural problems with the calculation of the exact child support award. However, the precedent was set in this appellate district for non-custodial parents to receive child support in certain cases.  Complex Child Support Issues As this case demonstrates, child support matters in Illinois can become quite complex, with determinations hinging on many different factors. In addition, Illinois courts are not exactly clear on the different facets of these issues, such as child support obligations of custodial parents. As always, it is critical to have the tailored advice of a family law attorney to understand your options. For help in DuPage County or surrounding suburbs contact Davi Law Group today.

Even once child custody is determined, for a divorced couple who both want the best for their children, sharing schedules and determining visitation can be a challenge. This becomes all the more difficult if the custodial parent decides that he or she is going to move out of state. In some cases, a move out of state could be beneficial for the children (if the non-custodial parent consistently fails to follow through or is a threat to the ex-spouse), but in most cases moving out of state presents a whole new set of challenges for a divorced couple. In Illinois, if the custodial parent wants to leave Illinois, he or she must first go through a specific court procedure to determine if the move is indeed in the best interest of the child. No custodial parent is allowed to leave Illinois permanently without going through this procedure. In order to make this possible, according to DivorceSource.com, the first step a custodial parent must take if he or she wants to leave Illinois is to “file a petition with the court requesting permission to remove the children from the state.” From there, the court will require “psychological examinations of the parties and the children (and possibly others)… and it is difficult to obtain a prompt hearing.” This means that the custodial parent will need to prepare for the move well in advance—it’s not a decision that can be made lightly and requires months of preparation. According to DivorceSource, “removal will only be approved if it is in the best interest of the children.” There are several factors that the court will consider, according to DivorceSource, which include but are not limited to:

  • that quality of life will improve for all parties involved
  • why the custodial parent wants to move
  • why the non-custodial parent doesn’t want the other to move
  • how drastically the move will effect the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights
  • whether a realistic visitation schedule can be reached

If the non-custodial parent has spent significant time with the children and has proven to be an active part of the children’s lives, obtaining approval for the move may be more difficult. If you or someone you know has custody questions such as this, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today.

Image courtesy of renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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