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How Does Parenting Time Influence Child Support in Joliet?

 Posted on December 22, 2021 in Child Support

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.

Does a Parent Still Have to Pay Child Support if They Have No Parenting Time?

Some parents assume they can forgo child support payments if they do not have any parenting time with the child. To be clear, child support obligations are completely separate from custody or parenting time decisions. A parent must pay child support even if they are denied parenting time by the court. Failure to pay child support is considered a serious offense punishable by property liens, wage garnishment, and in extreme cases, jail time.

Furthermore, a parent may not withhold parenting time from a parent who has court-ordered parenting time because that parent did not pay child support. For example, if a father has parenting time with the children on the weekends, the mother cannot keep the child during the weekends as a “punishment” for the father’s failure to pay child support. Doing this violates a court order and may result in significant consequences.  

Contact a Joliet Family Law Attorney

The Plainfield family lawyers at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you establish, modify, or enforce child-related court orders, including parenting time orders and child support orders. Call us at 815-666-1285 for a free, confidential case assessment.


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