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Wheaton, IL Child Support Attorney

Kane County child support attorney

Lawyer for Child Support Orders and Modifications in DuPage County and Surrounding Areas

Children in Illinois are legally entitled to financial support from both parents, whether the parents are married, unmarried, divorced, or separated. Married parents typically have the authority to decide between themselves how they should work together to support their children, but in other cases, a legal child support order is important to ensure that each parent has a clear understanding of his or her obligations and that there is a means of enforcing payment.

Whether you are in the process of getting a divorce or a legal separation, or you are unmarried and pursuing child support along with a judgment of legal parentage, Attorney Jessica Sendek can help. She has practiced family law exclusively since 2007, and she strives to provide each client with individual, one-on-one attention as they seek to address the important matter of financial support for their children.

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

In recent years, several Illinois family law statutes have been updated to reflect the role of both parents in raising and providing for their children. When it comes to child support, one of the most significant changes is that payment amounts are now calculated using an income shares model that considers both parents' income, rather than only that of the paying parent.

The current child support guidelines compare the two parents' combined monthly net income against a schedule of basic child support obligations to determine the total amount that the parents should be expected to contribute to their child's basic needs, including food, clothing, and shelter. Then, each parent's share of the obligation is determined according to their percentage share of the total combined net income.

When applicable, the calculation will also take into consideration factors including the number of children who are entitled to support, each parent's allocated share of parenting time, and any other child support or spousal support obligations for either parent. Additionally, the court may decide to order support beyond the basic obligation depending on the children's needs and the parent's financial resources, to provide for expenses related to:

  • The children's education, including college expenses for an adult child
  • The children's extracurricular activities
  • The children's health insurance premiums
  • The children's medical care or special needs
  • Child care, if it is necessary to allow a parent to maintain employment or pursue an education

Child Support Enforcement and Modification

Child support obligations often remain a source of conflict well after the court issues an order. Some parents may struggle to keep up with payments due to their changing financial situation, while other parents may intentionally withhold payment in an effort to make things difficult for the receiving parent. It is important to note, however, that failing to pay child support is illegal in Illinois, and it can have serious consequences. A parent who becomes delinquent on court-ordered child support payments can be found in contempt of court, potentially resulting in fines and jail time, and can face other consequences including wage garnishment and the loss of one's driver's license or professional license. If the other parent is not paying the child support ordered by the court, your attorney can help you petition the court for enforcement of the order to hold them accountable.

This also means that if you are struggling to pay child support, you should seek relief from the court immediately to protect your interests, rather than simply stopping your payments. The court will consider a petition for modification of your child support order if you have experienced a significant change in circumstances that has impacted your income or earning capacity. Further, the court has the ability to retroactively modify any support payments to the date that you file a petition for modification of child support, so it is advantageous to file a petition as soon as your circumstances have changed.

Contact a Naperville Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions about calculating, modifying, or enforcing a child support order, contact us today at 630-358-9029 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout DuPage County, including Naperville, Wheaton, Warrenville, West Chicago, Lombard, Winfield, Lisle, and Glen Ellyn, as well as in Kane County, Cook County, and Will County.

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