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DuPage County child support attorneyIn July of 2017, Illinois enacted major changes to the way child support is calculated. Previous to this change, child support obligations were calculated by applying a percentage based on the number of children requiring support to the obligor parent’s income. For example, if you had one child, you would pay 20 percent of your net income in child support, and if you had two children, you would pay 28 percent of your income. Some parents are still subject to child support orders created under the old law, but any new child support arrangements will be calculated using the “Income Shares” method. Illinois child support orders now take both parents’ net incomes and amount of parenting time into consideration. If you are a parent who has children with more than one person, you may wonder how the court will determine a child support arrangement that is achievable with regard to your financial resources while still providing for all of your children’s needs.

Income Shares Child Support Guidelines

The Income Shares model for child support calculation involves the following steps:

  • Both parents’ net income is added together to determine their combined net income. This combined amount represents the financial resources that would be available to the child if the parents were married.

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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.

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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney emotional issuesAccording to the Holmes Rahe Stress Inventory, divorce is the second most stressful life event a person can experience. Only the death of a spouse is considered more emotionally traumatic than the end of a marriage. If you are going through a divorce, you may feel depressed, confused, enraged, or even completely numb. While there is no way to completely eliminate the emotional pain associated with divorce, mental health experts do have some advice for how to cope with divorce in a healthy, effective way.   

Do Not Judge Yourself for Your Feelings

Divorce is different for everyone who goes through it. It is very likely that you will not experience divorce in the same way as your friends or family members. Because of this, it is important not to judge yourself for your reaction to the divorce. You may be consumed with anger and resentment toward your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, or you may miss them terribly. You may feel relieved about the end of the marriage, or you may be devastated that your attempts at reconciliation have failed. You may be emotionally numb and feel almost nothing at all. Whatever your response to the trauma of divorce, know that your feelings are normal and that the emotional pain will decrease with time.

Reach Out to Others for Help

Research has consistently shown that people are better able to cope with divorce if they have support from others. You may wish to share your thoughts and feelings with friends and family, or you may choose to confide in a mental health professional. Participating in a divorce support group or religious organization may also help you cope with the end of your marriage. Although you may want to isolate yourself during this turbulent time, this can actually make you feel more alone and upset. Connecting with others can help you work through the emotional difficulties you are experiencing.

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Wheaton, IL child support modification attorney

Child support ensures that unmarried or divorced parents share the financial responsibilities of raising a child. Illinois courts calculate child support payments using the "income shares" model, and the amount of child support to be paid is based on the income of both parents, the amount of parenting time each parent has, and a number of other factors. If either parent wishes to change the child support order once it has been entered, he or she must petition to court to make this change.

Requesting a Child Support Modification  

Illinois child support orders can only be modified under certain circumstances. Child support orders are eligible for a modification review every three years. Parents can also request a modification if they can prove that a major change in circumstances necessitates the modification. Illinois courts have broad discretion to decide what constitutes a substantial change in circumstances. Some of the most common reasons that parents request a child support modification include:

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Wheaton divorce lawyer for work-related issuesGoing through a divorce can be rough. Not only does it affect your relationship and your children, but it can also have an impact on other aspects of your life. When dealing with legal issues, paperwork, court dates, and financial concerns, it is likely that your divorce will spill over into other areas, and it could become an issue at your workplace. While the end of your marriage is likely to be stressful, the last thing you need is for it to affect your career, and you will want to avoid any threats to your income and financial stability. However, with proper preparation, you can maintain a proper balance between your work and your personal life. By following these tips, you can ensure that your work will not be negatively affected:

Inform the Proper People About Your Situation

Discussions about your divorce are not good “watercooler talk.” You do not want to inflict the struggles you are facing in your personal life on everyone in your office with a listening ear. However, it can be hard to keep all your concerns bottled up inside, especially if you are concerned that the stress you are facing may have an impact on your work performance. Telling your HR manager and/or your supervisor about your divorce will help them understand what is going on, and they may offer compassion and give you more leeway if you need to leave the office early or take the afternoon off in order to go to court. If you are close to one or more of your coworkers, you may wish to confide in them, but it is best to do so in a private setting, either on breaks or outside of the workplace.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Dealing with court dates, paperwork, and legal concerns can be overwhelming. To ensure that you are getting your work done, you should allocate a certain time of the day to deal specifically with divorce matters. This will preferably be during your lunch hour or after your workday is finished. Doing so will help you avoid the need to juggle your regular work activities and matters related to your divorce at the same time. You can also save time and effort and stay more organized by sending your lawyer a list of questions at the end of the day rather than calling or emailing them throughout the day.

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