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Managing Child Support Payments in an Illinois Divorce or Separation

Posted on in Divorce

child support payments, child support laws, DuPage County family law attorney, Illinois divorce, child support lawyerParents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children, whether they are married, unmarried, separated, or divorced. When parents do not live together, the non-custodial parent will typically pay child support to the custodial parent. However, determining the amount of support and the method of making payments can be a complicated matter. Consider the following tips on managing the ongoing payments that will ensure that your children have the financial support they need: 

  1. Understand the current child support laws - The method for calculating child support in Illinois changed in July 2017, and the amount of payments are now based on both parents’ incomes and the amount of parenting time they have with their children. When determining child support, be sure you understand the methods of calculating your support obligation. If you currently pay or receive child support, and the amount of support would change under the new law, you may be able to modify your child support order. However, the new law by itself is not a reason to make a modification; you must demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was made.

  1. Make payments on time - It is important to pay child support as ordered, ensuring that payments are made in full when they are due. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including wage garnishment, loss of one’s driver’s license, and even jail time. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides free child support enforcement services, allowing a parent to collect child support they are owed through a variety of methods, including sending an Income Withholding Notice to the non-custodial parent’s employer. 

  1. Keep records - Parents should keep financial records of all payments made or received, as well as any relevant expenses. Saving receipts for medical care, child care, extracurricular activities, or any other expenses will ensure that costs are shared between parents correctly. It is also a good idea to keep receipts for child-related expenses such as food and clothing, which can be used to demonstrate the amount each parent spends on their children if either parent requests a modification to the child support order.

  1. Never threaten to withhold payments - Children have a right to receive financial support from their parents, and these payments cannot be used as a bargaining chip in any other disputes between parents. If one parent is not meeting his or her obligations when it comes to parenting time or any other matters related to divorce or separation, the other parent cannot withhold child support payments as punishment. Likewise, one parent cannot restrict the other parent’s parenting time if he or she is not making required child support payments. 

Contact a Wheaton Child Support Lawyer

Whether you are divorced, separated, or were never married, your children deserve to have financial support from both parents. If you need help determining the amount of support, enforcing a child support order, or modifying child support to fit your changing circumstances, the attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can give you the legal help you need. Contact a DuPage County family law attorney at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/7-tips-for-fathers-paying-child-support/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K505.htm
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/Apply.aspx

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