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Wheaton divorce lawyer for child support enforcement and modificationChild support is intended to help unmarried or divorced parents share the cost of raising a child. Illinois takes child support orders very seriously. When a child support order is entered by the court, the payments are not optional. If you do not pay court-ordered child support, you can face serious penalties, which may include criminal charges. If you cannot afford your current child support obligation, you may be able to request a modification from the court.

Consequences of Child Support Nonpayment in Illinois

In Illinois, child support enforcement is managed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services' (DHFS) Division of Child Support. Through the Child Support Enforcement Program, the DHFS monitors child support payments and ensures that child support orders are being followed. When a recipient parent is not receiving court-ordered child support payments, he or she may contact the DHFS for help. Once the DHFS is aware of the problem, the agency will take steps to collect the unpaid child support. If the non-paying parent is receiving public assistance, the DHFS can take funds directly from the parent’s public assistance benefits.

If you fail to pay child support, your wages may be garnished. This means money will be taken directly out of your paycheck. In addition, your tax returns may be intercepted, or your bank account may be seized. If you are more than 90 days behind on your child support, your driver’s license or any professional licenses that you have can be suspended. If you owe more than $5,000 of past-due child support, or if you have not paid in six months or more, you may even be charged with a criminal offense.


Naperville divorce and child support lawyer

Choosing to divorce is not a decision many people take lightly, especially if a couple has children. One of the primary concerns for divorcing parents is the ability to meet their children’s needs, and in many cases, one parent will pay child support to the other following the divorce. However, determining the correct amount of child support can often be a complex matter, and the methods of calculating child support differ from state to state. 

One recent study examined child support calculations in different states by considering a hypothetical couple: a father who makes $55,000 a year and a mother who makes $45,000 a year with two children who would primarily live with the mother following the couple’s divorce. This example case was used to determine how child support would be calculated for this couple throughout the country.


Unmarried parents and those going through divorce often seek child support through the courts. Historically, this has been based upon the number of children the parents share and the amount of parenting time each parent receives has been given little consideration. New changes to Illinois' child support laws, which are set to take effect July 2017, are expected to change this. Learn more about these changes and how they may affect your child support or divorce case.

Illinois is Moving from Percentages to Shares

The current law uses percentages to calculate child support. For example, if a couple shares three children, a paying parent would typically be required to pay 32 percent of his or her income to the receiving parent. The new law is moving Illinois to a shares model. This essentially means that support will be calculated by examining the income of both parents. Responsibility will then be divided into shares based upon each parent's expected contribution (determined using similar-income intact families).


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.


Posted on in Child Support

What happens when a relationship ends, and a father then requests a DNA test to avoid paying child support because he does not believe he is a biological parent? This scenario occurs more often than one may think.

What Legal Paternity Means

Most of the time, being a biological father and legal paternity are considered one in the same. However, there are situations where an individual can become a child's legal father without having a biological connection to the child.

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