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How Illinois Courts Determine Child Support Obligations

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Uncategorized

Blog ImageChildren require the basic essentials and both parents are obligated to support their children following a divorce, even if one pays the other child support. Illinois follows guidelines in determining each parent’s obligations toward supporting each child. But have you ever wondered why your child support payments were set so high or so low? Illinois uses an Income Shares model to determine who will pay the child support payments and how much the obligor is legally required to pay. Consulting an attorney can help you better understand the financial implications of child support and help you establish a schedule to ensure every payment is made on time.

How Does The Income Shares Model Work?

An Income Shares model helps estimate what the income of a household would look like if the parents were still living together. It does this by:

  • Determining the net income for each parent

  • Combining both net incomes into one to determine total household income

  • Using the income shares chart to determine the child support cost and multiplying it by each parent’s income percentage

The parent who receives the majority of parenting time and/or significant decision-making responsibilities is often also the parent that a child will reside with the majority of the time. That parent is typically already assumed to fulfill their child support obligation. The income shares chart will help determine whether or not the other parent will be obligated to pay their share of child support if there is joint custody involved.

Can I Refuse To Pay Child Support?

You may think you can simply not pay child support, but it is not recommended, as you will be facing steep penalties with the state. Once child support has been court-ordered, it is a legally binding obligation for that parent. When the obligated parent refuses to pay child support, the custodial parent can contact the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) who will monitor all payment activities. If the unpaid child support payments have reached more than $5000 owed or it has been six months without a child support payment, DHFS can issue a prosecution request on that parent.

Depending on how much is owed and for how long it has been owed, the penalties will vary. Failure to pay $5000 or refusing child support payment for six months is considered a Class A misdemeanor, whereas owing upwards of $20,000 could be considered a Class 4 felony.

Can I Get Child Support Payments Reduced?

Sometimes, but in most cases, it will require a substantial change in circumstances for either you, the other parent, or a child. You will need to submit a motion to the court and wait for them to decide whether or not the change in circumstance warrants a change in the current child support order. To be better informed on whether or not your change in circumstances is enough to modify your current court-ordered obligation, you should consult a family law attorney.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

Child support is the obligation of both parents to support their child’s development and well-being. If you are hoping to have your child support payment recalculated, you can consult an experienced Schaumburg, IL child support lawyer from the office of Anderson Attorneys, P.C.. We can provide advice and an estimate on what your new child support payment obligation would look like if a change is indeed possible. Contact our firm for a free consultation to discuss your situation at 847-850-8899.

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