Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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815-666-1285

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815-733-5350

joliet divorce lawyerWhen parents decide to proceed with a divorce, many changes to the family occur. From dividing assets to child support, a divorce decree is set to ensure that both spouses continue their financial obligations to the family. Child support orders are set based on the financial health of both parents during the time of the marriage dissolution. However, finances, jobs, and spending habits change over the course of a person’s life. If a change in your financial situation has left you unable to afford your child support payments, you may be eligible to alter your child support order

Step 1: Find a Skilled Family Attorney 

Changing a child support order can be a difficult process. A divorce decree is a legally binding document, so a person cannot just hold off on making payments that align with a court order. When a person becomes unable to afford their child support, it is important to first reach out to a family attorney who can walk a parent through the process of petitioning for a change. A lawyer can help navigate the legal process of modifying child support in a timely and legally correct manner. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Financials 

If you are looking to petition for a change in child support and have found a trustworthy lawyer that you are prepared to work with, the next step is to prepare your financial documentation. The court will need to see proof of your financial change that resulted in an inability to afford payments. A lawyer can be handy during this process. Your lawyer will be able to help select the best documentation that represents your case and file it correctly during your petition. Were you fired from your job? Did you suffer from a recent salary cut? Do you have new expenses such as medical payments that prevent you from affording your child support? There must be documentation to show the situation at hand clearly. 

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How Does Parenting Time Influence Child Support in Joliet?

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plainfield divorce lawyerParents who divorce or who are not married when the child is born are often subject to court orders, including child custody orders and child support orders. Presently, Illinois law does not use the term child custody or visitation. Instead, the law describes parenting duties in terms of “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Parenting time is the amount of time the parent spends caring for the child. If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, it is important to understand the relationship between parenting time and child support.

Are Child Support Payments Based on the Amount of Parenting Time?

Illinois child support payments are calculated using the Income Shares formula. Both parents’ incomes are used to determine the amount of financial support the child should receive. This amount is split between the parents based on their respective incomes. The parent with the least amount of parenting time pays his or her share of this financial support to the parent with the most parenting time.

The amount of parenting time a parent is responsible for does not typically influence child support payments. However, there is one exception: If both parents have 40 percent or more of the parenting time, this is a “shared parenting” arrangement. In a shared parenting situation, the amount of child support the paying parent pays is affected by how much parenting time each parent has.

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What Expenses Are Included in Child Support in Illinois?

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Joliet divorce attorney for Child SupportParents are expected to financially support their children and provide for their needs. When parents are married or living together, they will usually combine their finances to cover all of their household expenses and any other costs involved in raising their children. However, the issue of financial support becomes more complicated when parents get divorced or split up. In these cases, child support orders will need to be established to ensure that both parents will contribute toward their children’s needs. Parents will want to understand what expenses are covered by child support and whether they will need to address any other costs related to raising their children.

Basic Child Support Obligations and Additional Expenses

In family law cases involving the custody of children, child support obligations will be calculated based on the total income earned by both parents. This is known as a “basic child support obligation,” and it is meant to represent the amount that a couple would have spent to cover their children’s needs if they were still married or living together. The total amount of this obligation will be allocated between the parents based on their individual income levels. In cases where parents divide parenting time equally or when children spend near-equal amounts of time in each parent’s home, additional calculations may be performed to ensure that the parents’ financial obligations address the percentage of time children live with each parent.

As the name implies, the basic child support obligation is meant to address children’s daily needs and cover expenses such as groceries, housing, utilities, and clothing. However, there are several other types of expenses that parents will usually need to address, and these expenses may be added to the parents’ child support obligations. These may include:

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My Ex Is Not Paying Child Support. What Can I Do?

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IL family lawyerDid you know that the total cost of raising a child to adulthood is estimated at over a quarter of a million dollars? Covering housing, food, and other costs without help from the child’s other parent can be extremely difficult if not impossible. Parents have not only an ethical responsibility but also a legal responsibility to financially support their children. Child support is the mechanism through which parents share child-related costs in Illinois. Read on to learn what you can do if your ex is not paying child support.

Establish a Child Support Court Order

Some parents assume that they do not need a formal child support court order, so they make a casual arrangement with the other parent. Perhaps your child’s other parent was giving you funds to help pay for housing or childcare on a weekly or monthly basis but has suddenly stopped. Unfortunately, the court cannot enforce a handshake child support agreement.

The best way to ensure that and your child will get the financial assistance you need is to petition the court for a child support order. If your child’s father is not providing financial support, he is not on the child’s birth certificate, you must establish paternity before you can ask for a child support order. Paternity may be established in one of three ways in Illinois:

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Will County child support attorney

The cost of going to college increases with every passing year. If you are like many parents, you probably have concerns about how to finance your child’s college education. You may wonder how college expenses are dealt with when parents are unmarried or divorced. Does Illinois require parents to help pay for college? Does the parent who pays child support automatically pay for university-related expenses? Whether your child is college-aged or you still have a few years before he or she heads off to university, it is important to know how Illinois law deals with college expenses.

Child Support for College Students in Illinois

College expenses are handled differently than typical child support. When the child is still a minor, it is presumed that the obligor pays child support. Regular child support typically ends when the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. Once the child is an adult, this presumption no longer exists. It is up to the parent seeking non-minor child support to show that non-minor support is appropriate. Per Illinois law, courts may require one or both parents to contribute to college expenses, but this requirement is not automatic.

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