IL family lawyerParents in Illinois always have a legal responsibility to provide financial support for their children, even after divorce. During divorce proceedings, parents can come to an agreement on their own about child support, or a judge may issue an order. Either way, these orders are legally binding and the only way to change them is to petition the court for a modification. The courts do not give modifications easily, but there are four common issues that can result in a reduction. Regardless of whether you are receiving child support or paying it, it is important to know what these issues are, and when they may impact the amount of support ordered.

The Paying Parent Loses Their Job

When making a determination about child support, a judge will consider the paying parent’s income, education, and past work experience. When the parent that pays child support loses their job, that clearly significantly impacts their income. Job loss could justify lowering the total amount of child support they pay, and that the other parent receives.

The Paying Parent Experiences a Loss of Income

A parent that pays child support may experience a drop in income even if they do not lose their job. For example, their employer may demote them or, they may find a new job that pays less. In these instances, a child support order may also be reduced based on the new amount of income the paying parent is responsible for paying.

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IL family lawyerEveryone knows that being a parent is one of life’s most difficult jobs, and it does not get any easier once children enter the teenage years. It is easy to assume that because your children have established some independence, that divorce and moving back and forth between homes is going to be easier. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Teenagers still need guidance in their homes and the knowledge that they have a supportive and loving home, even when they are moving between two different places. Following the below tips can help parents and teenagers manage these difficult times.

Listen to Their Concerns

Children will have many concerns after divorce, even when they have reached their teenage years. Teenagers in particular though, are known for shutting down and not voicing these concerns to their parents. If your teenagers are coming to you with their worries, it is important to make those concerns a priority. Allow them to share their feelings, and answer any questions they may ask as honestly as you can.

Give Them Time to Adjust

Parents often think that teenagers will handle divorce much better than younger children, but this is not always true. It is a huge change for teenagers to move back and forth between their parents’ homes for child custody and visitation reasons, so give them time to adjust. Do not pressure them to talk about it, and do not feel bad if they rely more on their friends as a support system than you. Social circles are incredibly important for teenagers, so let them talk out their feelings with whoever they feel is best at the time.

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IL divorce lawyerThe COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in a number of ways. Layoffs and the permanent closure of certain businesses have received most of the attention, but there is another effect going on inside the homes of individuals that is not getting much attention. That is the fact that the pandemic has caused an increase in divorces, and it has left many people wondering why.

Financial Problems

Money has always been one of the main reasons couples get divorced, and that has been exacerbated during the current pandemic. Millions of people have lost their jobs and even when they are eligible for unemployment insurance, those benefits still only provide a fraction of incoming money couples are used to receiving on their paycheck. A loss or serious reduction of one or two incomes in the home can result in increased stress and more fighting, which can lead to divorce.

More Time

Whether people are sheltering in place or have nowhere to go because they have lost their job, there is no doubt that couples are spending more time together these days. All of that time together can result in increased fighting over small things that the same couple may not have fought over before the pandemic. When there are already problems in the marriage, the increased time spent together will only shine a light on those and make them worse.

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IL family lawyerEarly last year a news story was published about a California woman that was awarded child support 50 years after her husband left the state to move to Canada. At the time, the couple had a daughter that was only three years old, and the woman was left to raise her on her own and without any financial support. The case is an interesting one and still has people talking. It is also often referred to when family lawyers are advising clients on their case.

In California, the woman was able to obtain support 50 years from the date he left the state because there was no statute of limitations on child support. So, does Illinois place a statute of limitations on child support payments?

Child Support Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, like in all other states, parents are responsible for providing financially for their children, even when the parents get a divorce. Typically, a judge will first award child custody to one parent and the non-custodial parent is responsible for making payments to the custodial parent.

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IL family lawyerUnder the Illinois Parentage Act, when unmarried parents have children together, the alleged father must voluntarily state that they are the biological father, or get a DNA test administered by the courts. Establishing paternity may sound like an easy process, but it is not. There are many complexities involved, and believing any of the multiple myths surrounding paternity cases only makes the process more difficult. If you have had a child with someone you are not married to, it is crucial that you understand what the most common myths are, and the truth behind them. This is the only way to protect the rights of you and your child.

You Can Sign the VAP After You Leave the Hospital

The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, more commonly known as the ‘VAP,’ is a form that is available at the hospital after the child’s birth. When the presumed father is present at the birth, he should be given the chance to sign this document, which is legally binding and very difficult to challenge.

The time after birth is often chaotic, albeit joyful, with lots of visits from relatives and running errands to ensure the mother and child have everything they need to leave the hospital. Due to this, some people do not fill out the VAP, mistakenly thinking that they can sign it at a later date.

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