630-462-9500

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

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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illinois child support lawyerWhen a divorce is finalized, the divorce decree will describe property division, spousal support, allocation of parental responsibilities, and how much child support must be paid. However, circumstances can justify modifying a divorce order so that the amount of child support due reflects a parent’s current situation. In order to understand how a job change or other circumstance may affect child support payments, it is important to first understand how child support is determined in Illinois. 

What Factors Does a Court Consider When Determining Child Support?

Hourly wages or salary are not the only factors a court will consider when making decisions regarding child support. Child support is calculated using both parents’ net income. The following factors may influence the amount a parent pays in child support: 

wheaton child support lawyerDivorce can be financially taxing, even for the wealthiest of families. When a divorce is contested, it can be even more expensive and time-consuming than expected. For those who have children, child support can be one of the most important financial aspects of divorce. Ensuring that your children are adequately provided for may mean that you need to include child-related expenses above and beyond what typical child support payments provide. 

Expenses to Consider Adding to Your Support Order

In some cases, a child may have additional needs or expenses that the custodial parent needs assistance with. In these cases, the custodial parent can request that these additional expenses be added to the child support order so the cost can be split between the parents. Though parents can create their own individual child support agreements containing whatever provisions they see fit, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides for specific child-related expenses that may be added to the support order. These expenses include:

  • Medical Expenses - Either one or both parents must provide health insurance for the child or obtain state-sponsored health insurance if it is not available from their employer. You may be able to add certain medical expenses to your child support order if they are not covered by insurance. These expenses can include things like prescription medication costs, co-pays, portions of medical costs not covered by insurance, and costs related to dental or vision care.

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