110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

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Il divorce lawyerParents and caregivers alike can agree that children are expensive. This is why it is generally agreed that both the mother and the father have an obligation to provide financial support for any children they have. When the parents are not married or they are getting a divorce, a child support order can be entered to ensure both parents contribute their fair financial share. Child support is calculated using a formula that incorporates both parents’ income, amount of parenting time, and whether or not they have other child support or spousal maintenance obligations.

However, monthly child support obligations do not always cover all costs associated with raising a child. There are expenses that will appear that are not accounted for in the monthly child support obligation. You are not required to address them in your parenting plan or support order, but doing so can save time and stress in the long run.

Dividing Your Child’s Additional Expenses

For some parents, decisions about how expenses are allocated can be made as needed, however, this type of arrangement typically only works if the parents are on good terms with each other and they are willing to compromise. In most cases, it would behoove you to try to address any foreseen additional expenses in your parenting plan or support order before your case is finalized. These expenses can include:

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IL divorce lawyerAs COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, spreads across the United States, many people are starting to feel the effects. Dozens of cities and states have ordered the shut down of non-essential businesses in an effort to “flatten the curve” so to speak. Officials have also started to issue stay-at-home orders requiring citizens not to leave their homes except for life-sustaining or essential activities.

Illinois was one of those states, issuing a stay-at-home order that became effective March 21. Because of the stay-at-home order and the business closings, many people have been laid off without pay, putting stress on their financial situations. Many people, especially those who have children, have been concerned about how these closings and stay-at-home orders will affect their family situations. Child support is required to be paid by law, but what happens if you are laid off without pay?

Can I Change My Child Support Order?

Typically, a child support order is only eligible for modification every three years or if there is a “significant change in circumstances.” This is a broad interpretation and does not have a set definition, so a variety of situations can be eligible for a modification. Most commonly, a change in the non-custodial parent’s income is cause to re-evaluate child support orders.

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Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,In July 2017, a revision to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) went into effect, completely redefining the way child support is calculated when parents divorce. Gone is the simple method of the past, in which the amount of support was based only on the income of the paying parent and the number of children being supported. Illinois now uses an “income sharing” model which considers the combined income of both parents and divides support between parents based on what percentage each parent contributes to the combined income.

Child Support in Cases of Shared Physical Care

When determining child support under the new law, courts will use tables provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to determine the amount that parents would have spent to support their children had they not divorced, then this amount will be divided between the parents based on each parent’s percentage share of their combined income. However, in cases of shared physical care, additional calculations are required to further divide the support obligation between the parents based on the amount of parenting time each parent has with their children.

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Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,When parents end their marriage in divorce, the parent who retains primary custody of the couple’s children usually receives child support from the other parent. For the past several decades, the law in Illinois determined the amount of these child support payments using a straightforward calculation. The paying parent would be obligated to pay a percentage of their net income based on the number of children being supported. However, this method no longer addresses the financial realities of many families, since both parents now typically earn an income and contribute to their children’s care.

Illinois recently modified its child support law to reflect these changing realities, and these changes went into effect on July 1, 2017. Under the new law, child support obligations will be based on both parents’ incomes, and the amount of parenting time and parental responsibility each parent has will also be taken into account.

Calculating Child Support under the New Law

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child support, Illinois divorce lawyersAs parents entering the divorce process face the new challenge of being a single parent, they are both presented with a slew of new tasks and arrangements that must be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure the entire family is cared for once the marriage is officially over. While a some divorces end peacefully and mutually, bumps along the way are to be expected. Addressing issues such as child support and parenting time (visitation) early on can help prevent a lot of unnecessary stress for you, the other parent, and any children affected by the separation.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Child Support Calculations

The court considers two primary factors when determining the amount of child support you will receive: the non-residential parent’s net income and the child's best interests. Due to the fact that there are a variety of circumstances that determine the best interests of the child, the court must weigh each factor before determining an amount they feel is just.

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