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St. Charles Child Support LawyerChild support is an important form of financial assistance for parents in Illinois. Payments are based on both parents’ net income, and often paid on a monthly basis. The parent with the majority of parenting time, formerly called the custodial parent, receives child support from the parent with less parenting time.  If the parents each have at least 40 percent of the parenting time, the child support obligation is reduced accordingly.

Usually, child support ends when a child turns 18 and graduates high school or graduates from college. However, what happens if a child is emancipated?

Emancipation of a Child in Illinois

The Emancipation of Minors Act was passed in 1980. It allows individuals to become either partially or fully independent from their parents. Emancipation automatically occurs when a child turns 18 and becomes an adult. However, a special emancipation order can expedite the process and allow a 16 or 17-year-old to be emancipated. To become emancipated, teenagers must show that they are mature enough to handle their own affairs. They must also demonstrate that they have already been living partially or completely separate from their parents or guardians.

Kane County Child Support LawyerParents have the obligation to provide financial support for their children. To ensure that children will have the resources that will fully address their ongoing needs, child support will usually be ordered in cases where married parents choose to divorce or when unmarried parents are separated. In many of these cases, one parent will have primary physical custody, meaning that children will live with them the majority of the time, and this parent will usually receive child support payments from the other parent. However, there are some situations where parents may have equal or 50/50 custody, and determining the parents’ child support obligations in these cases can be more complex.

Child Support and Shared Physical Care

In Illinois, child support obligations are calculated by taking the income earned by both parents into account. These obligations are determined by considering the amount that married parents would usually be expected to spend on child-related expenses. The state of Illinois uses tables that detail the appropriate amount of support based on parents’ combined income and their number of children.

In most cases, the amount of child support determined using these tables will be divided between parents, with each parent being responsible for a percentage of the amount of child support based on the income they earn. That is, if a parent earns 30 percent of the couple’s combined income, they will be responsible for 30 percent of the child support obligation, and the other parent will be responsible for 70 percent of the obligation. When one parent is the custodial parent, the other parent will make child support payments to them.

What Expenses Are Covered by Child Support?

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles family law attorneyParents who get divorced will need to address a variety of issues related to financial support for their children. While both parents are expected to contribute financially to their children’s needs, understanding exactly what is covered by child support can sometimes be a complex matter. By working with an attorney to understand how the law applies in their situation, parents can ensure that their children will have the necessary financial resources, while also making sure they will have the means to support themselves.

Basic Child Support and Additional Child-Related Expenses

In Illinois, parents’ child support obligations are determined using a method that takes both parents’ incomes into consideration. The law details a method of calculating what is known as the “basic child support obligation.” This amount is meant to represent the regular, ongoing expenses that parents would have paid for their children if they were still married.

Each parent is required to pay a portion of the basic child support obligation, but rather than dividing this amount in half, it is allocated based on each parent’s percentage of their combined income. This basic obligation is meant to address children’s ongoing, daily needs. That is, it will cover living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities for the home where the children live the majority of the time, as well as children’s food and clothing.

Kane County family law attorneyAlthough the most commonly known method of collecting child support is through a court order as part of the Illinois divorce process, there are actually two ways of petitioning to collect child support. The first, as previously mentioned, is through an Illinois court. The second is by filing with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

If you are a parent of a child and you are attempting to collect child support, read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using DCSS to assist you, as well as how hiring a skilled child support attorney can help.

How Can DCSS Help Me Collect Child Support?

One major advantage of DCSS is that its services are free. These services include, but are not limited to:

Kane County family law attorneyChild support can be difficult to negotiate for parents who are no longer in a relationship. Even after a child support plan is put in place, the parent who is responsible for paying child support may purposely or accidentally halt payments. Regardless of the reason for stopping child support payments, the receiving parent and child(ren) are put in a difficult situation when they cannot get the financial support they need. If the paying parent has stopped making payments, you have options to get the child support you need.

Work Directly With the Paying Parent

Try to work things out with the delinquent co-parent. Do not seek to withhold parenting time from the spouse who is delinquent on payments, or otherwise seek revenge. Even if there is an enforceable court order, co-parents may be able to work something out together. If it does come to a court battle, do not jeopardize your case by neglecting your responsibilities under the child visitation order.

Work with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)

You may also notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After you notify DCSS of the delinquent payments, DCSS will begin to oversee the situation and verify that the payments are late. Be aware that before DCSS can take any action regarding the delinquent child support, they are obligated to notify the non-compliant parent and warn them about the consequences of nonpayment. 

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