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DuPage County child support lawyersWhen contemplating a divorce, parents have more to think about than just their relationship. While no one wants to stay in an unhealthy relationship, parents oftentimes choose to remain in toxic relationships, due to financial concerns, insecurity, and the wellbeing of their children. For many parents, the thought of a separation is quelled by the notion that they will no longer be able to support their children. Even those that believe they will receive child support payments have questions about their long-term ability to support their children’s dreams. No question is bigger than "Will I be able to help my child go to college?"

Fortunately, the state of Illinois has laws that can help sole-custody parents continue to receive child support for a non-minor child’s education expenses. If you want to help your child attend a quality university but are worried that your former spouse may not contribute, it may be time to contact a family law team that will represent your family’s best interest.

The Price of a College Education

College tuition prices have skyrocketed. The average 4-year private university costs approximately $50,000 per year. While tuition costs alone can seem insurmountable,  the modern college student is faced with ever-increasing room and board payments, transportation expenses, fees for books and supplies, and other financial obligations.

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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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Illinois law states that children have the right to receive support from both of their parents; this includes financial support. Unfortunately, some parents struggle to care for themselves financially. Perhaps they have a spending problem, or maybe they simply cannot hold a job. Whatever the reasons for their shortcomings, failure to pay child support can negatively impact their child and the receiving parent. It can also spark feelings of anger and frustration in the receiving parent, which may cause them to make choices that might cause them more harm than good.

Parenting Time and Child Support Are Separate Issues

Parenting time is related to the child's right to have a healthy relationship with both parents. Child support is about to their right to receive financial support from each parent. Although both matters are related to the child, and therefore interconnected, each is considered a separate legal issue. True, child support may be determined, at least in part, by the amount of parenting time that each parent has, but there is much more to each of these matters.

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Filing for divorce and undergoing the aftermath of the process takes an emotional toll on the whole family. Additional arrangements that come with separation such as parenting time (visitation), allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody), and child support can add to your stress levels significantly. If children are in the picture, all of these issues are important to the wellbeing of both you and your spouse, and of course, your children.

What Kind of Assistance is Available?

As a newly single parent, one of the most immediate concerns you likely have is financial support and how to secure the funds you need so you can continue to take care of yourself and your children. Illinois State offers child support services at no cost to you or your family. Should you need help verifying paternity for your child, or if you are unable to locate the non-custodial parent, The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) can assist you. The division can also secure medical insurance for your children. You are not required to be signed up for public assistance to qualify for these services, and children who live in or out of the state are eligible.

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