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Illinois Child Support: Clearing up the Confusion

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County Paternity LawyerIllinois adopted a new methodology for calculating child support in July 2017. Child support obligations are now calculated using the Income Shares formula. The amount a parent pays is based on both parents’ net incomes and the number of children involved. Although Illinois has used this calculation method for several years now, there is still a significant amount of confusion about establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support payments. This blog will present an overview of child support laws in Illinois and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about child support obligations.

How Do I Start Receiving Child Support?

Any parent can confirm that raising a child is expensive, and single parents often rely on financial support from the other parent to make ends meet. If a mother wants to receive child support from a child's father, she must first confirm that paternity is established. Paternity may be established through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, an administrative order, or adjudication from the court.

The next step is to file a petition for child support with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Once the petition is filed, HFS will send notice to the other parent and set up a hearing.

How Much Does a Parent Pay in Child Support?

Child support payments are determined by the Income Shares formula which takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and, in some cases, the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The parent with the larger share of the parenting time, or time spent caring for the child, receives child support payments from the other parent. Illinois courts can deviate from the Income Shares formula in some situations.

Can I Change the Child Support Payment Amount?

Illinois allows parents to modify child support payments if there is a significant change in circumstances. A change in circumstances can include a substantial change in either parent's income, job loss, a significant change in the child's needs, or a significant change in the amount of parenting time each parent has with the child.

How Do I Enforce Child Support Payments?

If the parent ordered to pay child support fails to make the payments, there are a few enforcement options available. A parent may enforce the child support order through an administrative action with the Department of Child Support Services or file a motion with the court asking for enforcement of the child support order. If the paying parent still does not make the payments, the court may take further action, including garnishing the parent's wages, suspending the parent's driver's license, seizing the parent's tax refunds, or taking away the parent's professional licenses.

Call a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

The DuPage County child support lawyers at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can help you establish paternity, set up child support, modify your child support order, or enforce child support if the other parent is not paying. Schedule a confidential consultation by calling 630-665-2500 today.



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