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DuPage County divorce lawyer for tax issuesWhen you are going through a divorce, the process of legally ending your marriage can be difficult, and that is especially true if you have children. In addition to addressing the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and the amount of time children will spend with each parent, you will need to determine how to make sure your children’s financial needs are met. Each parent will have child support obligations that are based on the income earned by both parents and, in some cases, by each parent’s amount of parenting time. Typically, the parent with less parenting time will make child support payments to the other parent, although this is not always true, and the amount of payments will vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case. If you will be paying or receiving child support, you may have questions about when and how these payments will be made. 

Income Withholding

In many cases, the easiest way to handle child support payments is by having them withheld from the income earned by the paying parent. Arrangements for doing so may be made as part of a couple’s divorce decree, and the Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will contact that parent’s employer and begin garnishing their wages. This allows for a convenient way to ensure that payments are automatically made from one parent to the other, and by having an outside agency handle the payments, it limits any disagreements between the parents. Wage garnishment may also be initiated by DCSS if a parent becomes delinquent in making child support payments, and the agency may also take measures such as suspending a non-paying parent’s driver’s license or withholding funds from their tax refunds.

Direct Payments

If garnishment of wages is not feasible, or if parents wish to use a different arrangement, they may agree to have the paying parent make child support payments directly to the other parent. This type of arrangement may be used if a parent is self-employed, unemployed, or is paid only on commission. While payments can be made using methods such as cash, online payments, checks, or money orders, this can make it difficult to maintain proof of payment. It may also be difficult to resolve conflicts over payments, and financial data may be insecure if payments are made digitally. In most cases, it is preferable for the paying parent to make payments to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, which will then distribute the funds to the receiving parent. 

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Most parents recognize that they are not the only ones hurting during divorce. Children, who once had a whole family, living under one roof, must now split their time between two homes and two parents. This, in and of itself, can be stressful, but many also assume responsibility for the dissolution of a marriage, or blame one or both of their parents. When paired with the upending of their lives, this can lead to problems with depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues at home and/or school. However, parents can help children survive divorce and better adjust in the months and years after by avoiding some of the most common divorce mistakes.

Be Willing to Take an Honest Look at Your Own Behavior

When going through the emotional stress of a divorce, it can be difficult to take an objective look at your behavior, but unless you are willing to do so, you will never really be able to determine if there is, in fact, a problem with the way you are reacting to your child or your spouse. So, regardless of how you are feeling, be willing to at least try and take a step back to examine your behavior. If you need help from a therapist or a close, trusted family member or friend, seek it out. This can help you be better equipped to help your child in the weeks, months, and even years following a divorce.

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In your family law case, you and your child's other parent will be expected to complete and submit a temporary parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan will often affect your life and the life of your family on a day-to-day basis.

The Judge Wants Parents to Agree

Judges want parents to agree on a parenting plan. The reason that a family law case starts out with both sides submitting a temporary parenting plan is because judges understand that children need stability. The faster parents can come to an agreement on at least a temporary plan, the smoother life will usually go for the children.

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