Archive for the ‘child support’ tag

Child Support in an Illinois Divorce

April 17th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

child support, children of divorce, Illinois family law attorneysWhen a couple with a child divorces, two of the most important issues they have to work out during the divorce process are child custody and child support. Child support is the money paid from one parent to the other to cover the child’s basic needs, such as his or her food, clothing and housing until the child becomes an adult. In some cases, child support may continue even after the child turns 18 years old..

When beginning to analyze a child support amount, the court is required to first consider specific guidelines. The guidelines that the court must use to determine a couple’s child support agreement are included in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

The court’s goal is to ensure that your child’s needs are met and apportioning the child’s financial needs between both parents. Generally, a parent of one child can expect to pay 20 percent of his or her net income for child support. This percentage increases with each additional child being supported. However, this is only a starting point– other factors may be considered when determining a child support amount, and a parent may end up paying more or less than this amount depending on what the court finds to be in his or her child’s best interest. This is known as a deviation from the child support guidelines.

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

If the court is going to deviate from the guidelines under law for determining an appropriate amount of child support, it will consider the following factors:

  • Each of the parents’ income and current financial resources;
  • The child’s specific individual needs, including his or her academic or health care needs;
  • The standard of living that the child had before the divorce; and
  • Any financial resources the child may have.

Talk to your attorney about how your individual financial circumstances may affect your child support order. Significant changes in your family’s financial circumstances, such as job loss or retirement, can be a cause to seek a modification of your child support order.

Child Support Attorneys in the Chicago Area

If you are a parent planning to file for divorce in the near future, contact Anderson & Associates, P.C. at 312-345-9999 to learn more about what you can expect from your child support hearing. Our skilled Chicago family law attorneys proudly serve Illinois families in our five office locations: Schaumburg, Northbrook, Orland Park, Wheaton, and downtown Chicago. Do not wait to contact our firm – when you are working through any type of legal issue, it is always in your best interest to be proactive and seek legal guidance as soon as you can.

Which Party Pays for Day Care Expenses in an Illinois Divorce?

April 3rd, 2015 at 5:49 pm

day care expenses, child care costs, Illinois Family Law AttorneyAre you going through a divorce and have young children in day care? Day care expenses are the largest household expense for most parents, according to CNN Money. With the growing number of children in day care, an important topic to discuss with your child support attorney is the responsibility for day care expenses.

Are Child Care Expenses included in Child Support?

report issued by Child Care Aware of America stated average expenses for day care can rival expenses for housing, transportation, and even tuition and fees for college. With the number of children in day care growing, so are the prices of day care. After a divorce, the thought of the expense of day care can be overwhelming, but equally overwhelming can be the idea of having to quit or cut back hours at your job to avoid the expense.

Quitting or cutting back hours at your job is not an option for most parents, especially when you are going through a divorce and your income is being divided. In Illinois, the court will determine what is in the best interest of your child or children. This will include child support, visitation rights, and custody. Day care expenses are awarded above and beyond basic child support. Child support is intended to be used for food, clothing, and the other basic needs of the child.

Who Pays Day Care Expenses?

The judge will determine how much each parent will pay of the day care costs. In most cases, the court will take into account the  cost of the day care, child support, income and financial circumstances of each parent, and if one or both parents are attending school. Costs beyond child support may be split in any proportion depending on the judge’s findings after consideration of the specific facts of the case.

Both parents are typically responsible for paying for day care expenses, but sometimes circumstances change. If you are going through a divorce or want to modify your divorce decree, you need to speak with a Chicago family law attorney. At Anderson & Associates, P.C. our family law attorneys specialize in both divorce and post decree modifications. Anderson & Associates, P.C. assists clients in Illinois from one of our five offices, conveniently located in Chicago, Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, and Orland Park.

Seeking Unpaid Child Support

March 27th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

unpaid child support, child support order, Chicago Family Law AttorneysAfter a child’s parents end their relationship, the court may order that the noncustodial parent make child support payments to the custodial parent. It does not matter if the parents are divorcing or if they were never married – any parent may seek payment of child support from the child’s other legal parent. Under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, if a child’s parents are not married when he or she is born, the father must officially establish his paternity in order to seek or receive child support payments and for the child’s mother to seek such support from him.

When a child support order is in place, both parents are required to comply with it. If the supporting parent fails to meet his or her obligation, the parent receiving the support may take legal action against him or her to collect unpaid child support.

Taking Legal Action Against a Delinquent Parent

If your former partner consistently fails to make his or her child support payments and has not sought a modification for the order, you may initiate contempt proceedings before the court. With the help of an attorney, you can request that the court take any of the following steps to procure the money that your former partner owes:

  • Suspending his or her driver’s license;
  • Suspending of any vocational or professional licenses that he or she holds;
  • Obtaining a judgment which would create a lien, a public document that states he or she owes money, against his or her property; or
  • Garnishing of his or her wages.

Your former partner may also face penalties for his or her delinquency, including fines or jail time, as outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. These penalties depend on how much is owed and how long he or she has failed to make child support payments.

Child Support Attorneys in Chicago

If you have a child support order in place and your child’s other parent has missed a significant number of payments, call 312-345-9999 to schedule your free legal consultation with an experienced Chicago family law attorney. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., our dedicated team proudly serves parents and families in the Chicago area with offices in five convenient locations: Wheaton, Orland Park, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and downtown Chicago. We can help you determine the best way for you to seek the money your child needs.

 

Child Support: Modifying an Order to Meet Evolving Needs

March 19th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

support order modification, child support, Chicago family lawyersFor many couples, and especially those with children, a divorce is more than a legal process used to finalize the dissolution of their marriage. Instead, it represents the starting point for a new family dynamic extending many years into the future. While many of the negotiations and arrangements inherent to divorce proceeding are permanent, such as the division of marital property, others must be drafted with the current situation in mind, and may be adjusted as the family’s circumstances change. A child support order represents a prime example of such an arrangement. 

Establishment of a Child Support Order

At the time of a divorce, or other appropriate point prescribed by law, if a support order is appropriate, the court is expected to follow established guidelines to determine the amount of support must be paid. The non-custodial parent is typically required to pay support based on his or her net income, the number of supported children, and relevant circumstantial factors. Once the order has been entered, the supporting party must continue to meet his or her obligations or risk enforcement action and prosecution.

Changes in Needs or Resources

An order for child support is expected to address the current and reasonably anticipated needs of the child, while taking into account the income and resources of the supporting parent. However, it is very likely that either or both will change over time, potentially resulting in a situation that it is not appropriately being matched by the existing support order. For this reason, the state of Illinois not only permits support orders to be modified, but encourages that they be kept as current as reasonably possible.

The court may consider the modification of a child support order in the following situations:

  • The needs of the child have significantly changed. In addition to normal growth and development, other considerations may impact the amount of financial support required by the child. Examples may include the diagnosis of a serious medical condition, the legal marriage of the child, and acceptance into an elite educational program. The impact to the support order could range from a substantial increase to the complete termination of support.
  • The supporting party experienced a significant change in income. Situations may arise in which the paying parent loses employment or suffers a debilitating injury which negatively affects his or her earning capacity. Conversely, a new position or increased business opportunities may drastically increase his or her income. Depending on the case, ordered support may be increased or decreased.

Recalculation of Support

Once the court determines that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the modification of a child support order is handled by the court in the same manner as establishing the original order. The same considerations must be made, and with more current income and circumstantial information available, the modified order will be better suited to meet the family’s needs.

If you are subject to a child support order in Illinois and believe the order should be modified for any reason, contact an experienced Chicago family law attorney today. The qualified lawyers at Anderson & Associates, P.C., can help you understand your options and provide you the best in professional legal services. We have offices conveniently located in Wheaton, Schaumburg, Orland Park, Northbrook, and downtown Chicago.

Non-Minor Support for College Expenses

March 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

college expenses, child support, Illinois Family Law AttorneysAs a parent with a child support agreement, you know you have to financially provide for your child until he or she reaches adulthood. But when does adulthood truly begin? Today, many young men and women remain financially dependent on their parents well after their eighteenth birthdays, sometimes for another decade or longer. One of the main reasons behind this is the trend of young adults choosing to attend college after completing high school. College can be expensive and in many cases, parents help their children by footing some, or even all, of the bill.

But can the court require you to pay for your child’s college education? In Illinois, the answer is yes. This is known as non-minor support and you may be required to pay it at the judge’s discretion.

Factors a Judge May Consider to Determine Non-Minor Support

In Illinois, there is no law that requires parents to contribute financially to their children’s college education, but it can be ordered by the court in certain situations. Whether or not you are required to do so is determined by the judge upon consideration of the following:

  • Your son or daughter’s current grade point average and potential to be successful in college. A strong student has a much better chance of being awarded non-minor support than a student with a poor academic record.
  • Your financial obligations as well as those of your ex-spouse. This includes the existence of agreements or orders regarding spousal maintenance payments.
  • The effect your divorce had on your standard of living. Would your child have had approximately the same opportunity to afford college if you had not divorced?
  • Any grants or scholarships available to your child to help defray educational expenses.

Using this information, the judge will also determine how much you may be required to pay toward your child’s college education, if you are required to pay at all. The court may also stipulate that your child meet certain requirements to continue to receive your financial support. Such stipulations may include:

  • Requiring your child to maintain a certain grade point average.
  • Requiring him or her to work a specific number of hours while attending college.
  • Requiring that he or she choose a state or community college to reduce costs.
  • Requiring him or her to use grants or scholarships to defray costs as much as possible.

Talk to your child about realistic college goals and expectations before he or she finishes high school. College costs can be a significant expense which many families cannot afford without help or advanced planning.

Chicago Family Attorneys

If your child is considering attending college and you want to find out what you may be legally required to pay, call 312-345-9999 to schedule your free legal consultation with Anderson & Associates, P.C. Our experienced Chicago divorce attorneys proudly serve parents and families in the Chicago area with offices in five convenient locations: Wheaton, Orland Park, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and downtown Chicago.

Child Support in Cases of Split Custody

May 27th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

In Illinois divorces, there is a difference between physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody deals with the ability of each parent to make important decisions for the children, such as which school to attend and decisions about major medical procedures. Physical custody deals with living arrangements, i.e. which home will be the children’s primary home.

Rigers 5.13.2013Sometimes, parents agree to joint legal custody, but with only one parent having sole physical custody and the other only having visitation rights. In other cases, parents agree to have both joint legal and physical custody, in which case the child(ren) would spend nearly equal amount of time with each parent. In order to reach this type of arrangement, an attorney would file a Joint Parent Agreement detailing the custody schedule.

In addition to both parents being equally a part of the child(ren)’s life, another important benefit is that joint custody allows for deviations from the Illinois statutory child support guidelines. Currently in Illinois, a court will usually order the non-custodial parent, the parent who only has visitation rights, to pay child support to the custodial parent. 750 ILCS 5/505 (2013). The Illinois child support statute contains specific guidelines for child support payments. The support obligation is tied to the number of children born or adopted during the marriage. For example, for a family with one child, the parent who owes child support must pay 20% of the net income. For a family with two children, the support obligation goes up to 28%, incrementally increasing up to 50% of the net income in cases when there are 5 children. 70 ILCS 5/505(a)(1)

The Illinois child support statute, however, allows for deviations from the guidelines. 70 IL CS 5/505(a).In cases of joint physical custody, an experienced attorney may be able to convince a judge to allow lower payments because both parents are equally responsible for the day to daily expenses.

Both custody and child support determinations are fact-intensive and an experienced family law attorney should handle them. For additional information and answers, please contact Anderson & Associates, with offices in Orland Park, Chicago, Wheaton, Schaumburg and Northbrook.