The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

b2ap3_thumbnail_kane-county-child-support-lawyer.jpgRaising children can be one of the most rewarding, joyful things a person ever does. However, any honest parent will also tell you that raising children can be a never-ending, thankless task. Children are always hungry, they break things they know they are not allowed to touch, and they have a knack for putting holes in new shoes and clothing - in other words, kids are expensive. If you are divorced or are co-parenting with someone you were never married to, child support payments are often a crucial source of income for your children’s ongoing needs. An ex’s failure to pay child support may not only be frustrating, but terrifying - if you cannot make rent, what will you do? Desperation can lead many parents to wonder if they can withhold parenting time from a parent who refuses to pay child support.

Child Support and Parenting Time Are Not Conditional Upon Each Other

Perhaps unfortunately for those trying to recover lost support money, parenting time may never be withheld as a consequence for unpaid child support. These are two separate issues under Illinois law, and one cannot be used as an incentive for the other. Courts will not prevent a parent from seeing their child because they have not paid child support, because to do so would punish the children for something they have no responsibility for or control over. In fact, trying to withhold parenting time can result in court sanctions against the parent who does this.

How Can I Get Unpaid Child Support? 

Just as Illinois courts view parenting time as essential to a child’s wellbeing, they also view child support in the same way - and there are ways to recover child support that do not harm a child’s relationship with their parent or put you at risk of court sanctions. The first step is to file a petition with a court to enforce child support obligations. A court can then ask the paying parent why he or she stopped making payments and use various tools - including fines, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time - to punish continued non-payment. Illinois also has a Division of Child Support Services that exists to help parents get the child support they need. An attorney can help you pursue whichever option is likely to result in the fastest, most effective recovery for your case. 

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Popular wisdom holds that once a child turns 18, a divorced parent no longer has to pay child support. Although in many cases this is true, in Illinois children of divorced parents may lay claim to child support that continues for several years after a child reaches legal adulthood.

Divorced parents can be required by Illinois family courts to contribute to their child’s college expenses. Illinois is something of an outlier in this regard, but the courts have consistently upheld this responsibility, even when parents have challenged it. Considering that the cost of college can be significantly more than a down payment on a home, the prospect of paying for a child’s college involuntarily can be concerning. If you are divorced or plan on getting divorced in Illinois, it is essential to understand your future financial obligations for non-minor child support. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_452916241.jpg Child support usually ends when the child grows up and graduates high school. However, if a child is disabled (mentally or physically), there may be an extension of child support payments. In the state of Illinois, child support payments are determined using the Income Shares formula. The court will determine how much each parent pays in child support based on their net incomes. However, there is another factor that determines the type and amount of child support ordered: the child’s need. By working with a family law attorney, child support can be modified or extended to support a child with special needs. 

Getting Support for a Disabled Child

Child support in Illinois ends when the child turns 18 years old and graduates high school because it is assumed the child will be able to emotionally and financially support themselves. However, this is not the case when dealing with a child or adult with special needs. The non-minor child with special needs may not be able to financially support themselves into adulthood, and so the custodial parent may be required to continue providing support. In this scenario, child support from the non-custodial parent can be extended. 

What Qualifies as a Disability?

According to the Illinois General Assembly, a disability must be a permanent ailment that causes significant cognitive or motor-function loss of a person. The disability must have originated before the person turned 18 in order for him or her to qualify for non-minor support. The following disabilities may qualify an individual for non-minor support:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_119521075.jpgIn the state of Illinois, paying child support is an independent parental obligation. The state sees it as the right of a child to receive financial support from both parents. However, you may be able to adjust your child support obligation through a child support modification in Illinois. By speaking with a skilled divorce or family law attorney, you may be able to adjust your child support order. 

Factors for Child Support Modification

Every three years, child support court orders may go under review for modification. However, this process can be expedited if there are significant changes in the child or parents’ lives. The factors include:

  • Significant changes in the financial situation of the non-custodial parent (both increases and decreases to income)

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 aurora child support lawyer Child support is designed to help pay for housing, food, education, and other necessities for children. In Illinois, how much a parent pays for child support is primarily based on the parents’ net incomes. Child support payments are calculated in such a way that parents should be able to afford their monthly payments. However, sometimes parents fall behind on their child support payments for one reason or another. If you can longer afford your child support payments, you might wonder how you should handle the situation.

Consequences for Not Paying Child Support in Illinois

Parents who willfully fail to pay child support can face legal problems in Illinois. Here are several consequences a judge may impose on them:

  • Wage garnishment- If a parent is behind on child support payments, the other parent can contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) and ask them to call their employer and have the payments deducted from their paychecks.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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