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Oak Park IL family law attorneyIn Illinois, parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later. When parents are no longer in a romantic relationship, even the smallest of child support issues can lead to major conflict. There are many reasons why a parent may be behind on child support payments, but when they miss payments purposefully, there are certain things the other parent can do to try to recover the missing amount.

Notification of Delinquency

One option when the other parent is not paying support is to notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After receiving notice, the DCSS will begin to monitor the paying parent’s account. Before any actions can be taken, however, the DCSS must first notify the non-compliant parent of the delinquent status of their account and the resulting actions the Division may take. This allows the non-compliant parent a chance to explain why their payments are overdue and to confirm whether the amount due is correct.

Potential Remedies for Late Child Support Payments

If the paying parent is subsequently notified that DCSS action is going to be taken against them, DCSS can use several methods of recovering support for unpaid obligations, including:

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Oak Park, IL divorce order modification lawyerIn some divorce cases, a couple may change their minds or disagree about certain issues even after the divorce is final. For example, if a person believes his or her ex-spouse violated the divorce decree, he or she can file a “post-decree motion” to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Similarly, a change in one or both of the former spouses’ circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, may require amendment or modification of the divorce decree, especially if a child is involved. These modifications or post-decree matters must be approved by a judge and should be fair to each spouse and in the best interests of the child.  

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support

The majority of post-decree matters deal with disputes over child-related issues. Parental responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) are determined during the initial divorce proceedings. However, changes may be necessary in some cases, such as when one parent would like to have more parenting time with his or her child. 

In any case that involves children under the age of 18, the court in which the original divorce decree was issued maintains its authority to decide future child-related matters. The parent requesting a change in the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time must prove to a court all of the following:

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Oak Park, IL parenting time lawyerWhen parents choose to get a divorce, they will need to determine when children will spend time with each parent. While it is important to create and follow a regular parenting time schedule, parents can still choose to be flexible, and they may be able to agree to make changes to the schedule as needed. One common situation in which changes may be necessary occurs when the kids are out of school for holidays or summer breaks. During vacations, children have more free time to spend with each parent, and so parents should work together to determine a schedule that is in the best interests of the children.

Scheduling Factors

In many divorces, children will reside with one parent for the majority of the time while spending some amount of parenting time with the other parent. However, some divorced couples are able to share equal or near-equal amounts of parenting time. While these arrangements provide consistency during the school year, schedules may need to be adjusted during the children’s summer vacation. When creating a summer parenting schedule, many factors come into play, including the children’s ages, the distance between the parents’ homes, parents’ work schedules, and plans for summer activities.

When making a new summer residential schedule, the timeline usually starts when the child gets out of school, and it ends once he or she goes back to school. A summer schedule that is in the best interests of the child can often be worked out between both parents. For example, if one parent is a teacher and does not work during the summer, the parents may decide that the child will spend the weekdays with that parent and the weekends with the other parent. This arrangement can be helpful if the child is young, eliminating the need to have the child go to a daycare facility or stay with relatives during working hours. As children get older, parents may need to make changes to these arrangements as needed; for example, teenagers might need a schedule that fits with their social life and sports or extracurricular activities.

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Hillside child support lawyer

When a couple begins the divorce process, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. On one hand, a divorce can represent a new opportunity at happiness. On the other, a divorce is a separation from someone you once thought you would spend the rest of your life with. When children are involved, a divorce can be especially emotional. 

Child custody is one of the most important and contentious elements in a divorce. Custody (now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois) may be only part of the battle, as many spouses will attempt to avoid paying child support. If you are looking to secure child support payments from your former spouse, you need the help of a skilled and aggressive legal team. 

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Oak Park child support attorneySometimes, even the so-called “simplest” divorces, where the parties have no children, can be stressful and tedious. But if you add children-related issues in a divorce, you have an entirely different set of issues which must be addressed before you can finalize your divorce. One of those issues is child support, which is a very important subject for many divorcing couples, especially if one parent has the children more often than the other. Child support is the financial obligation that both parents have to their children, and it is important that each parent pays his or her fair share.

Calculating the Basic Child Support Obligation

First, each parent’s monthly net income is calculated. Then, both of the parents’ net incomes are added together. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS) is the governing body that deals with child support calculations, and they periodically publish guidelines for calculating child support based on parents’ combined income. The IDHFS’s basic child support obligation table lists a child support obligation amount that corresponds with parents’ combined income and the number of children they have. This number is what the state of Illinois considers to be the total amount that parents at that income level are expected to provide for their children.

Determining Who Pays What and to Whom

Once it is determined how much should be spent in total on the children each month, it must then be determined how much of that support obligation each person is responsible for -- and who will be paying whom. The calculation is fairly simple -- each parent’s percentage of their combined monthly income is the same percentage of the basic support obligation that the parent would be responsible for. The parent with the minority of the parenting time (sometimes called the non-residential parent) will typically pay their portion of the obligation to the other parent.

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