Hillside child support attorney divorce paternityWhen an unmarried couple has a child but later splits up, or when a married couple gets a divorce, or when a couple was not in a relationship to begin with, it is typically necessary to set up child support in which one parent makes a recurring payment to the other parent for the benefit of the child. While this is often achieved without difficulty, that is not always the case.

Child Support for Divorced Parents 

During the divorce process, child support is one of the most important child-related issues to resolve, along with the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly referred to as custody) and parenting time (previously called visitation). In 2017, Illinois adopted what is known as an “income-sharing model” for calculating child support, in an attempt to allow children to maintain the same standard of living as they would have if their parents were married.

Child support amounts are determined from a table provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS), which takes the combined monthly net income of the parents and assigns a corresponding support figure which increases according to the number of children the parents share. Each parent is responsible for a portion of this amount based on how much they contribute to the combined income.

Sometimes, after a divorce decree is finalized, income changes or other life events necessitate a modification to the child support agreement. Post-decree matters such as this can either be negotiated between the parties or be brought to court, with the final decision being made by a judge.

Child Support for Unmarried Parents

For parents who are not married or in a civil union, paternity – the legal relationship between a child and father – must be established by a Court Order in order to obtain child support. Parents can do this by submitting a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” (“VAP”) form, which adds the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate. 

If a mother is unsure who the father is, she can ask the likely individual(s) to submit to a paternity test, which compares the DNA of the mother, potential father, and the child to see if it is a match. This can be conducted by a medical professional either during or after a pregnancy.  

For alleged fathers unwilling to submit to a DNA test, or for mothers who refuse to do so, a paternity lawsuit can be filed to legally require an individual to take a paternity test. Once paternity is established, it is entered into the public record, allowing a child to receive child support from their legal parent.

Contact an Oak Park Child Support Lawyer

If you need help establishing paternity or obtaining child support, the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can help you complete and file all the necessary paperwork, and also advocate for your child’s interests throughout the legal process. We can help you pursue a paternity suit and work with you to make sure your child receives the financial support they deserve. Whatever your situation, our Hillside, IL family law attorney can help. Call us at 708-449-7400 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/Paternity.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/HFS/CHILDSUPPORT/parents/Pages/IncomeShares.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx