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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County child support attorney income shares

If you are a parent considering divorce, you may wonder how the state calculates child support payments. Which parent receives the support payments? How is child support related to the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time? Illinois uses an “income shares” method to formulate child support orders which are reasonable and appropriate for the financial circumstances of both parents. Read on to learn about the most important elements of Illinois child support orders and what you can do if you need to establish or modify child support in Illinois.

Illinois Recently Changed the Way it Determines Child Support

Significant changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) went into effect in July 2017. Before the changes, child support was determined by applying a certain percentage to the paying parent’s net income based on the number of children needing support. For example, a parent with one minor child paid 20 percent of his or her income, and a parent with two children paid 28 percent of his or her income in child support. Child support orders that went into effect before the changes to the IMDMA may still be based on the old calculation method. However, child support orders may be eligible for modification if they meet certain criteria.

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Naperville adoption attorney

If you are getting divorced and have children, your relationship with your ex is not going to be over as soon as the final divorce settlement is signed. If you earn a higher income than your ex-spouse, or if you will have the minority of the parenting time following divorce, you may be required to pay child support that will ensure that your children’s ongoing needs will be met. However, both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children, so it is important to make sure all relevant factors are considered when calculating the amount of child support payments. This will ensure that children’s needs will be met and that the parents will both be able to support themselves. Some factors to take note of include:

Net Income for Both Parents

A basic support obligation will be determined that is based on the net income earned by both parents, and this amount is divided between the parents according to their percentage of the total household income. However, when determining the amount of each parent’s net income, it is important to understand what adjustments may be made. For example, if a parent is already paying child support for children from a previous relationship, the amount of this support will be deducted from their gross income.

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Wheaton Child Support Non-Payment LawyerUnder Illinois law, both parents are obligated to financially support their children. As of July 2017, Illinois uses the income shares method of calculating child support. The income shares formula considers the income of both parents to determine the amount of child support that one parent, the obligor, must pay to the other, the recipient.

 If you are the obligor parent, it is important to make your payments in full and on time. If you are unable to adhere to the terms of your court-ordered child support payment plan, speak with an attorney regarding your options. Non-payment of child support carries significant legal ramifications.

Illinois Penalties for Non-Payment of Child Support

When a person fails to make their child support payments in full and on time, the recipient parent may work with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), a branch of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to obtain the money owed. This can come in the form of direct wage deductions, seizure of bank accounts, securing the obligor parent’s tax refunds, and even placing a lien on the obligor parent’s property.

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DuPage County paternity lawyersIn an alarmingly high number of divorce cases in which the mother is awarded sole-custody, along with child support from the father, the paying parent will look for any means to justify not paying the payments. In fact, approximately 25.9% of sole-custody parents owed child support in 2013 did not receive a single cent from their former partner. One of the most common ways in which fathers attempt to avoid these payments is through the use of a DNA paternity test. If you are fighting for child support and your former partner demands a DNA test, alert your attorney and seek skilled assistance immediately.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Here in the state of Illinois, parentage can be established in a number of ways: If both of the involved parties sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form, if the Illinois courts issue an order of paternity, and if an Administrative Paternity order is issued by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  

If parentage has not been established through any of the measures above, a DNA test can be ordered, either voluntarily or in the courtroom. If parentage is officially established, parents have a responsibility to provide for their children, either through custodial responsibilities or child support payments. Unfortunately, ensuring that you receive the child support payments you deserve can be a complicated process.

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Illinois child support lawyersIn the aftermath of a divorce, both parties have a lot to contemplate: where will I live, will I be financially comfortable, what will happen to my children? In a large number of divorce cases involving children, one parent is granted primary custody of the children involved. For most of the parents granted primary custody of their children, receiving child support payments from their former spouse can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy financial future.

Tragically, less than 70% of all child support payments owed, are actually received by the spouse in need. If you are owed child support payments and your former spouse is unwilling to comply, it may be time to consider seeking the help of a team of legal professionals.

U.S. Child Support Statistics

In 2013 alone, over $32 billion in child support were owed to primary custody parents, throughout the United States. While many people falsely believe that child support payments are incredibly high and can be crippling to the spouse making the payments, the average annual child support payment is approximately $5,775, per year. That ultimately results to less than $500 per month in child support payments. Child support payments can make the ultimate difference in a child’s life, but many parents neglect to do their part. According to the United States Census Bureau, one in four primary custody parents awarded child support never receive the payments they are owed.

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