All parents have a legal and ethical obligation to provide financial support to their children at least until they turn eighteen or until they graduate from high school. Many parents offer financial support through college and graduate school. If a child has a disability, the financial obligation to support your child may continue well into adulthood. When your relationship with your child’s other parent ends, your obligation to support your children remains. Whether you are going through a divorce, were never married to your child’s other parent, or need to make changes in child support, our skilled child support lawyers in Downers Grove are here to help.
Prior to 2017, Illinois used a percentage-based formula to calculate child support. Now they use an income shares model. This model takes into account both parents’ incomes and is based on the belief that both parents should be responsible for the financial obligations to their children. It also considers how much the parents would have spent had they remained in a relationship with shared finances.
Family court judges are required to start by using the state’s approved method of calculation. Then, depending on the family’s circumstances, they can deviate from that formula to adequately address the child’s financial needs. Factors they might consider include the:
In some cases, the judge can also consider certain expenses such as private school tuition, health care expenses, daycare, and extracurricular activities when determining child support payments. A judge will also take into account that a parent who makes a significant income will be able to pay more. In contrast, a parent who makes little won’t be able to pay as much. Anytime the judge deviates from the state-mandated guidelines, they must explain in writing why they did so. If there are other factors you believe should be considered in your specific set of circumstances, be sure to check with your child support attorneys in Downers Grove.
Parents can pursue a support order modification. However, they must show the court there is a significant change in circumstances since the last order was issued, or they must prove that:
In Illinois, child support obligations end when the child turns 18. If the child is still going to high school full-time, the obligation ends when they turn 19 or graduate from high school, whichever occurs first. If the child is disabled and won’t be able to support themselves, it may continue after that time. In some cases, parents may have an obligation to help pay for college expenses, even when their child is over 18 or 19.
Child support can be a highly contentious issue between two parents who are trying to raise a child without living together. It can also be confusing and overwhelming. Having the expertise and support of experienced child support lawyers can make this experience much less stressful for you. Contact us today to receive your child support case consultation with experienced child support attorneys in Downers Grove.
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