Most Frequently Asked Illinois Child Support Questions
If you have children and are getting a divorce, someone will need to pay child support. Unfortunately, child support laws in Illinois are confusing, so we would like to address some of the most common child support questions in this article. If you have questions about your case, our Schaumburg child support lawyers at the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. can help.
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When Does A Parent Get Child Support?
Child support is almost always granted to the spouse who spends most of the time with the children. Illinois courts determine how much child support will be paid on an ‘income shares’ model. This model looks at the incomes of both parents and how many children. Another factor is how much time each parent spends with the kids.
Which Parent Will Have To Pay Child Support?
The parent that has the children the most will receive child support from the other parent. If both parents have at least 40% of the time with the kids, this is a shared parenting arrangement. The child support payments will be modified to address the fact that both parents spend roughly the same time with the children.
How To Get Child Support?
If you are getting a divorce and want child support from your ex, you can ask for it during the divorce. Your divorce attorney must file a child support petition with the court. If unmarried, you can also ask for child support by petitioning the court. But you must prove who the father is with a paternity test.
What Do Child Support Payments Cover?
Child support is supposed to pay for your child’s essentials, including shelter, food, clothing, education, medical treatments, and reasonable hobbies. However, luxury officers are not paid for with child support. Also, child support is not supposed to cover the living costs of the parent with primary custody.
Can A Child Support Order Be Appealed?
Yes. You can appeal if you think there was a mistake with the child support order. But the person paying the support cannot appeal only because they believe the payment needs to be lowered. You must have proper legal grounds to file an appeal. For instance, do you think the judge was prejudiced against you in the ruling?
How Much Will My Child Support Payment Be?
How much you must pay for child support depends on many factors. For example, in Illinois, the income of both parents will determine the payment. Usually, the judge will rely on a statutory formula to decide what you need to pay. But the court has the authority to deviate from the formula.
There are things besides income that will determine the child support payment. For example, if you have a child from another relationship that you are paying child support for, that will reduce your payment. Or, if you have an alimony payment, you are already making, that is another factor.
Does the child have special needs, or are there other financial burdens that must be dealt with by the parents, such as medical bills? It is usually best to retain a child support attorney to help you determine your payment based on the many variables.
What Happens If My Ex Uses Child Support For Personal Expenses?
Courts do not usually control how the custodial parent spends child support; it is difficult to track such things. Some states, such as Delaware, have adopted a child support card system that works like food stamps. The idea is to keep the parent getting the payments honest by using the funds for child-related expenses. But not all states have adopted this system.
Does Child Support Always End At 18?
A child is usually considered to be an adult when they turn 18. Therefore, if the child emancipates from the parent before she is 18, the other parent’s child support payments would stop.
However, child support may have to continue if there is proof that the child has a mental or physical issue that makes them financially dependent on you.
What If I Am Unsure I Am the Father?
When a married woman is pregnant, the husband is assumed to be the child’s father. If the parents were unmarried, paternity must be proven. You can do this voluntarily when both parents fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) document. If there is uncertainty about the child’s father, you can have DNA testing to establish your paternity.
What Happens If I Do Not Pay Child Support?
Not paying child support is a serious offense. If you do not pay, you could have a lien put on your home, your wage garnished, a tax refund taken, or even criminal charges placed against you. But the state of Illinois only has the authority to take action if there is an official child support order from the court. This is unenforceable if you only have a casual arrangement with your ex.
Can A Child Support Order Be Modified?
Yes. The amount can change if there has been a significant change in your finances and ability to pay. For example, if your child support payment is $900 per month and you are laid off because of downsizing, you may go to court and file a petition to modify your child support arrangement. As long as you did not quit or did something intentionally to reduce your income, it is possible to change the amount of child support.
When Do Child Support Payments End?
A proper child support order always has an end date. Occasionally, someone will forget to add a termination date, but it usually ends when the child turns 18. Another reason that child support payments can end is if the child goes into the military after high school or gets married. Sometimes there will need to be proof that there is a valid reason for the child support to end.
How Do I Get Back Child Support From My Ex?
This is a common problem in Illinois. If you have a court order for child support and are not receiving it, you first need to determine what they owe you. For example. If your ex is supposed to pay $1,000 monthly and did not pay you for three months, they owe you $3,000. You must prove to the court that you did not receive payment for those three months. Also, interest on the owed amount accrues monthly, so keeping track of what you have yet to receive is critical.
Second, you must submit a petition for rule to show cause to tell the court that you want your ex to explain why they are not paying. The petition is how you tell the court they do not have a valid reason not to pay child support. As you wait for your ex-partner to respond to the petition, you can count the additional months of child support you are not getting.
This is why you must only pay or receive child support through electronic means that can be tracked and proven in court. For example, if your ex pays you in cash every month, it is easy for them to say that they paid and you spent it on something else. So, be sure that payments are made by bank transfer, Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, or other electronic means.
What Happens If My Ex Paying Child Support Dies?
If the parent passes away, the child support payments usually end unless arrangements were made between you before they died. However, the estate owes what is due if your ex was behind in their payments.
If your divorce attorney does well, the divorce decree should safeguard minor children. For example, the divorce decree might state that the parent who pays must have life insurance to cover their support payments if they pass away before the child turns 18.
Do I Need A Child Support Lawyer For Child Support Problems?
Child support is a complex issue and usually requires conversations between the court and parents. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to retain a child support attorney if you need help.
The child support lawyer can represent you in court during child support negotiations. This can avoid the unpleasantness and stress of court appearances. They also can adequately prepare legal documents for child support proceedings.
If My Ex Will Not Let Me See The Kids, Can I Stop Paying?
Child support payments and visitation rights are unrelated. You are still required to pay child support even if there are problems with seeing your children. If your ex-spouse is not following the visitation schedule, you should mention the problem to your attorney. Keep track of missed visitations on a calendar or cell phone app. Eventually, you can take action in court if your ex is not adhering to the visitation schedule. But do not stop paying child support, or you will face penalties, including fines and jail time.
Contact Our Schaumburg Child Support Lawyer
Child support is often a problematic aspect of getting a divorce. But with the help of a skilled attorney, many common issues can be addressed. The Schaumburg child support lawyers at the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. are ready to assist if you have questions about Illinois child support. Please contact our Illinois child support attorneys today for assistance at (847) 241-1299.