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1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County Child Support LawyerIllinois law requires both parents to financially support their children. Generally, when parents are not divorced, separated, or never married, this means that one parent pays the other child support. The financial burden of raising children is high and is only expected to get higher, and families rely on child support payments to make essentials such as housing, clothing, and healthcare possible. 

If a parent stops paying child support, the financial burden on the receiving parent and the children can be immediate and overwhelming. It may be tempting to withhold parenting time or make other threats to try to obtain child support, but these strategies may ultimately backfire. Instead, read on to learn about your options for recovering unpaid child support and then contact an Illinois child support recovery attorney for help.  

When is the Law on My Side for Recovering Child Support? 

The first thing you need to do when getting the law on your side when it comes to child support is make sure you have an enforceable child support order. A verbal agreement between parents may have worked when times were good, but without a court-ordered child support order, the law has no teeth. If you do not have a child support order, getting one needs to be your first priority. 

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DuPage County Child Support AttorneyAnyone who is a parent knows that to care for a child is to expect the unexpected. Children are constantly growing, learning, and making mistakes, and their needs are constantly in flux. While child support payments are ordered after a divorce or separation and are meant to cover a child’s basic needs, a sudden change in circumstances can make caring for a child become much more expensive. If you are wondering whether you can petition a court to modify your child support payments to cover new expenses, read this brief overview and contact an Illinois child support attorney. 

Can I Ask for More Child Support if My Child’s Needs Change? 

A child’s needs can suddenly or unexpectedly change for many different reasons. These include, but are not limited to: 

wheaton child support lawyerChild support payments are an important part of life after divorce. They ensure Illinois parents can share the expense of raising children in a reasonable and fair manner, and child support allows children to enjoy an appropriate quality of life following their parents’ divorce. 

Illinois law recognizes that children become independent adults when they turn 18 years old or graduate from high school, and child support payments are generally terminated at that time. However, some children have disabilities that prevent them from transitioning into independent adulthood right away and some children are never able to do so. For adult children with disabilities, continued child support payments can help ensure that they are cared for and given the highest quality of life possible. 

How Does Child Support For a Disabled Adult Child Work? 

Each family’s circumstances are unique, and ongoing adult child support arrangements will depend on the needs of the child and the ability of the parents to pay. Illinois child support payments are calculated according to the “Income Shares” model. The Income Shares model uses a pre-existing formula to determine payments using both parents’ income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. 

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wheaton child support lawyerEven parents with the best intentions may find the prospect of paying child support daunting. In addition to the likelihood of not having your children with you all the time like you did when you were married, child support payments can place a substantial emotional burden on a parent - to say nothing of the financial burden. Support that was freely given to a child must now be quantified and paid to a spouse following a divorce, and the penalties for not paying are significant. 

Understanding how child support is calculated in Illinois and when parents have grounds for modifying child support payments may provide some level of comfort and predictability. 

What Factors Determine Child Support Payments? 

Illinois requires both parents to support their children financially. As such, child support payments are calculated using a formula that combines the incomes of both parents, determines what percent of the combined income each parent earns, and then allocates child support according to that percentage. The parent with the majority of parenting time receives child support and the parent with less parenting time pays child support. The formula upon which judges generally base child support payments is called the Income Shares Schedule, and parents can use it to get an estimate of what their payments might be. When necessary, judges have the power to deviate from the Income Shares Schedule to accommodate individual situations. 

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wheaton child support lawyerCourt-ordered child support payments can feel like a tremendous financial burden. A substantial change in income or sudden unemployment can make it seem impossible to pay. Likewise, someone who believes their ex is not using child support payments for the child may be angry or may feel as though they are justified in failing to meet their support obligations. 

Whatever the reason, halting child support payments without a court-ordered modification is a short-sighted solution and can result in serious civil and criminal charges in the Illinois legal system. In fact, Illinois has a specific law intended to address nonpayment of child support, called the “Illinois Child Support Enforcement Law.” 

What Are the Consequences Of Failure to Support? 

 “Failure to support” is the legal term for when a person fails to meet their support obligations when they have the ability to pay them. In Illinois, the consequences for failure to support include, but are not limited to: 

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