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Illinois law has created statutory guidelines to determine what, if any, child support amount is appropriate in a given case, and every few years the guidelines are amended for inflation and political and social realities. While the majority of child support cases are decided using the guidelines, some cases require a more customized approach. If you are involved in a child support dispute, negotiation, or mediation, the help of an experienced Illinois family law attorney may be useful to you.
Common situations that may justify higher child support payments include, but are not limited to:
The child has a disability or ongoing health issue that requires costly treatment
The child needs educational support on an ongoing basis, such as tutors, in-class assistance, etc.
The child attends a costly athletic or educational program
A parent has an exceptionally high income which would make a percentage-based child support payment far exceed a child’s true needs
Unless parents agree about raising the child support payments, both parties will need to appear before a judge and make their case that higher payments would or would not be appropriate. When making any decisions about issues involving children, Illinois judges will first and foremost consider the best interests of the child. However, determining those best interests can be subject to some interpretation. When trying to determine the best interests of a child, a judge will consider many factors, including:
The child’s needs
Each parent’s resources and needs
The standard of living the child would have had if the parents had stayed married
The mental, physical, and emotional needs of the child
If you believe circumstances have changed in such a way that higher child support payments are necessary, you may petition a court to change payments. An attorney can help you understand when such a petition is likely to be approved. Usually, changes in child support payments are reserved for situations in which a child’s needs have changed, a parent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances, or at least three years have passed since the child support order was last ordered or changed.
When your child has a special medical, educational, or other need that takes up significant financial resources, make sure you get the help you need to ensure child support payments are appropriate. At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County child support lawyers have been managing complex child support cases for decades and we are ready to help you explore all available options. Call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a complimentary case review.