Tag Archives: Hinsdale child support attorney

IL divorce lawyerThere are many complicated legal issues in any divorce that involves children. While parents may typically first think of child custody, there is also the issue of child support. Divorce is often expensive enough, but when one spouse learns that they will keep paying for the divorce through child support for years after, sometimes they take drastic steps to avoid the expense. Some may even quit their job. So, what can you do when a spouse stops working in an effort to avoid paying child support?

Obtaining a Child Support Order from the Courts

Under Illinois law, all parents are required to financially support their children while they are still minors. The only exception to this is that parents must also support a child 19 years of age if they are still in high school. Parents are obligated to provide this financial support regardless of whether they are married to the other parent or not.

When parents are divorced, this financial responsibility is typically met through child support. The non-custodial parent will make payments to the custodial parent to help with the daily expenses for the child, as well as their medical and educational costs.

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IL child support lawyerChild support in Illinois is legally binding. When a judge orders one parent to pay it as a result of divorce, they must do so. That does not mean, however, that you are stuck with a high payment that you might not always be able to afford. The law in Illinois recognizes that situations change and as such, either parent can petition the court to have their child support payments modified. The steps for doing so are outlined below.

Find a Good Family Lawyer

It is not a requirement that you have legal representation to modify child support payments. If you represent yourself, you will not have anyone to guide you through the legal system. The staff in the courtroom also cannot give legal advice, or tell you of the chances of a successful outcome. It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney any time you have to go to court.

Complete All Forms and File with the Court

There are many forms you will need to complete. These include:

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IL divorce lawyerChild support does not necessarily stop when your child turns 18, the “age of majority.” In fact, some of the largest expenses, in terms of dollars per year, may lay ahead of that age. The average cost of tuition and fees for attending just one year at a public college is close to $10,000. For private school, the national average is over $35,000 per year. At four years, these expenditures would amount to $40,000 and $140,000, respectively, and that is only the cost of tuition and school fees. The average college graduate walks away from college with $30,000 of student loans looming over their heads.

However, when taking into account all of the graduates who did not take out loans in the first place, the average student loan debt is actually much higher. $100,000 of student loans is not uncommon, and that number can easily double or triple for advanced degrees. The last thing you want for your child is to avoid going to college because of the expense or to start out on the job market with that type of financial stress making decisions for them. An experienced child support attorney can help you negotiate a new child support agreement with the child’s other parent, or petition the court to create a child support order that will help cover the costs of higher education.

Additional College Expenses

College tuition is expensive, but the cost of classes is just the beginning; college students have much more to pay for than just tuition fees. An Illinois family court has the ability to include additional college expenses in the child support order. These may include the following:

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Il divorce lawyerChild support is awarded during divorce, or when no marriage occurred between two parents, based on the following criteria:

  • Child’s needs, including education, medical, food and clothing, and other necessities
  • Child’s financial resources
  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s other financial resources
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Number of children the couple has together

When a court makes a decision about child support, that support order is rarely set in stone. If the divorce occurred when the child was seven, there is a very small chance that the order will not be modified over the next decade as the child grows to 18, and then goes to college. Modification orders can be made every few years, or “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances,” according to 750 ILCS 5 Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A substantial change in circumstances may constitute any of the following examples:

  • The paying parent gets a large raise.
  • The custodial parent loses their job.
  • The paying parent gets in a major accident.
  • The child begins attending private school.
  • The child reaches an age when he or she no longer requires child care.
  • The custodial parent has access to significantly more financial resources.

Modifying Child Support

Generally, remarrying does not have any effect on child support modification—after all, it is only the financial obligation of each parent to pay for their child’s needs. However, in a few rare cases, courts have sided with the paying parent’s argument that, because of a new spouse’s finances, the custodial parent had increased access to this shared financial resource. It could be argued that a spouse who remarries may be able to tap into the finances of his or her new spouse, using these resources to pay for food, clothing, housing, insurance, and education for their child.

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IL divorce lawyerChild support is a crucial financial tool for custodial parents and, of course, their children. In fact, full or partial child support payments account for 16 percent of custodial mothers’ total yearly income, and nine percent for custodial fathers. Sadly, a large percentage of non-custodial parents refuse to comply with their court orders, and either fail to pay on time or simply refuse to pay outright. Less than half (45.6 percent) of custodial parents receive full child support payments. Custodial parents were owed $10.4 billion in deficient payment in 2013 alone.

Many parents are owed tens of thousands of dollars from years of missed payments, which only makes things harder on the non-custodial parent’s own child or children. Collecting overdue child support payments is difficult enough when the parent lives in the same state as the custodial parent. It is even more complicated when the non-custodial parent moves out of state. It can seem impossible to enforce payments when the parent leaves the country. However, an attorney may be able to help you.

Utilizing the Office of Child Support Enforcement Is Key to Child Support Success

The Office of Child Support Enforcement works with foreign countries to enforce child support payments from non-paying parents who have skipped out on their financial obligations. Countries that have joined the Hague Child Support Convention (of which there are 31 countries) or Foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) cooperate with the U.S. Department of State to hold non-paying parents accountable.

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