Child Support Lawyers in Chicago

The State of Illinois requires that both parents financially support a child. When a couple lives together, it is assumed that the support comes from the family income. When a couple divorces or separates, a child support agreement must be formalized as part of the divorce agreement.

Child support refers to the money the non-custodial spouse must pay to the spouse with physical custody in order to assist with the everyday costs of raising a child, including child care, school tuition, housing, clothing, medical care, after school activities, and recreation. Child support payments in Illinois are usually made until the youngest child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school.

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Calculating Child Support in Chicago

Illinois generally calculates the final amount using a complex algebraic equation. However, every situation is unique. Your child support payments may be higher or lower depending on your individual circumstances.

Payment guidelines attempt to approximate how much a parent would theoretically spend on a child if the divorce did not occur. The amount of support is usually calculated based on the non-custodial parent’s income and ability to pay, the financial needs of the children, and the number of children requiring support. However, a support order must also take into account any special needs a child has.

Chicago Child Custody and Support Lawyers

Petrelli Previtera can help make sure your family gets fair support. If you would like an estimate of child support, please contact our office. Our Chicago child support lawyer uses the same software in Illinois courts to find guideline support amounts. Whether you are paying support, receiving support, or trying to determine a post-divorce budget, we can calculate the numbers for you. Call us at 312-252-2085 to schedule a consultation.

Child Support FAQs

1. Who Pays for Child Support in a Chicago Divorce?

Going through a divorce is a complex process, especially when children are involved. If you have children, child support will be one of the main topics during your divorce. On the other hand, you and your ex-spouse could choose to forego child support. Foregoing child support will make the divorce much simpler, lessen the costs of divorce, and support your decision to start over with a clean slate. This scenario generally happens when you and your ex-spouse are still on amicable terms and are both earning similar amounts of income. If this is not possible, then you or the other parent will need to pay for child support. Because this is such a crucial time to determine the support needed to meet the best interests of your child, you need to consult an experienced Chicago divorce attorney. The right lawyer can help you go through this without compromising the welfare of your child and without you being taken advantage of.

Normally, payments are made to the parent who is the primary or sole custodian of a child. With the case of a split or shared custody, child support payments are made depending on how often you spend time with your child. If you and the other parent spend an equal amount of time with your child, then you may not have to pay for any child support. If you are the higher-income earner, but you spend more time with your child than the other parent does, then the other parent may need to pay for child support.

There is a common question about stepparents’ responsibility to pay for child support. Stepparents are not responsible to pay for any child support. Grandparents are also not obligated to pay. This means that if the person responsible for paying for child support dies, child support payments will cease completely. Furthermore, without marriage and if you can prove you are not the child’s biological parent, you can choose to not pay for child support. On the other hand, without marriage but with you being the child’s biological parent, you will still need to pay for child support.

If you are going through a divorce and have children, it is greatly beneficial to work with a divorce attorney. We will help you understand your rights while putting the best interests of your children first. Schedule your consultation today to speak with one of our attorneys.

2. What If Your Ex-Spouse Is Not Paying Child Support?

Having dealt with the stress and process of obtaining a child support order, you would expect that all is well now and you can rest easily with the guarantee of child support dues. The court system has taken its stand and decided on the matter. Your expectation is simple, and that is for your ex-spouse to pay the child support they were ordered to by the court. However, things do not always go smoothly and a spouse may be late on their payments or not paying them at all. While this is frustrating and it may be natural for you to react negatively against your ex-spouse, there are things you can and cannot do to get the child support payments for the welfare of your child.

Here are a few key thing you cannot do:

  • You cannot make threats towards your ex-spouse;
  • Prevent your child from communicating or contacting the other parent;
  • Even if your ex-spouse is not obeying the child support order by the court, you are not allowed to change the custody schedule and prevent the other spouse from seeing the children;
  • Do not try to access the funds of your ex-spouse;
  • Do not sell any possessions of your ex-spouse;
  • Do not contact your ex-spouse’s family to get the child support dues from them.

A list of thing you can do include:

  • Consult a Chicago divorce or family law attorney for help and support;
  • File a petition for the court to enforce the child support order, including interest on past due payments;
  • Consult your attorney about wage garnishment with the permission of your ex-spouse’s employer;
  • Consult your attorney about asking the court permission to intercept the income tax returns of your ex-spouse;
  • Be aware of the many ways the court employs to enforce child support orders such as suspending your ex-spouse’s driver’s license, stating the debt on your ex-spouse’s credit report, employing private collection agencies, and others.

It is very frustrating to deal with an uncooperative ex-spouse, especially when it prevents you from providing the best life possible for your children. The court system believes that a child needs love and support from both parents, no matter which parent has legal custody. You may be divorced with your ex-spouse, but both of you will always remain the parents of your children.

Our attorneys are here to help you ensure that the best interests of the children are being met. If you are having issues receiving your child support payments or you cannot make them, contact us today so we can discuss your options and help resolve the issue.

Contact a Chicago Family Law Attorney

Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson
Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60601

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(312) 252-2085

Located in Chicago, Illinois,  Petrelli Previtera, LLC handles divorce and other family law matters for clients throughout the communities in and around Chicago and Cook County including Forest Park, Glen Ellyn, Glencoe, Woodstock, Hinsdale, Wheaton, St. Charles, Geneva, Frankfort, Western Springs, Highwood, and Tinley Park, IL.

Call Us at (312) 252-2085

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