IL family lawyerChild support costs can be expensive, and the paying parent may understandably be reluctant to hand over money for expenses they view as extra or unnecessary. Often, the paying parent feels as though their money is being used for other purposes than supporting the child. However, if the court considers an expense necessary, even if it is above and beyond monthly child support payments, you may be required to pay your portion.

What Are Some Common Extra Expenses?

  • Child Care – For children who are not old enough to attend school, a working parent with parental responsibilities will need to consider daycare, preschool, or private childcare. Child care may also include expenses related to before- and after-school care or summer camps. Courts require expenses to be reasonable and will consider the ability of each parent to pay in proportion to their income.
  • Extracurricular and Educational Activities – Children are often involved in sports teams, dance classes, music lessons, and other activities that can be very costly. Even if a child is in public school, there are usually costs for books, lunch, testing, and college-credit classes. Courts can require parents to contribute to reasonable expenses related to school and extracurricular activities beyond the monthly cost of child support.
  • Medical Expenses - Even when a child is on their parent’s insurance plan, and even if the plan has great coverage, chances are that eventually there will be uncovered medical expenses. These might come in the form of an expensive prescription, treatment by an orthodontist, or a new pair of glasses. Whatever the cost, a court can order a parent to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses.

How Will We Split the Cost?

Illinois courts try to arrange for equitable payment, so every situation is going to be different. Sometimes courts split extra costs 50/50, sometimes they are split 80/20; it depends on the ability of each parent to pay, any former obligations they may have, and any provisions set forth in the divorce decree.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Illinois Child Support law can be complex. The consequences for misunderstanding your obligation or failing to pay can be expensive and might even include criminal charges. Hiring a Wheaton, IL child support attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group may help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure you are meeting your obligations. Call us today for a free consultation at 630-871-1002.

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DuPage County divorce attorneyIn hostile divorces, couples are often unable to come to an agreement about important issues such as parenting responsibilities and the division of assets. These issues can become contentious to the point where a trial is the only way to reach a resolution in the divorce.

When a divorce goes to trial, a judge will make decisions about contested issues according to Illinois law. However, before such decisions can be made, the judge needs to understand the divorcing couple’s situation. Each spouse’s attorney will make an argument to the judge and try to convince them that their client’s perspective is correct. One way to do this is through the use of something called an expert witness.

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is an individual whose experience qualifies them to form an opinion regarding an issue relevant to the case. The witness testifies before the court about things such as child welfare, a parent’s mental health, or a business’s financial value. A spouse could independently hire an expert witness to advocate for their perspective, or the court may require an expert witness and require one or both parties to pay the cost.

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Posted on in Postnuptial Agreements

DuPage County family law attorneyPrenuptial agreements are becoming more common in Illinois marriages. However, many people have never heard of a postnuptial agreement. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are actually quite similar; the main difference is that a prenuptial agreement takes place before a wedding, and a postnuptial agreement happens after the wedding has already happened.

If a couple is already married, it may seem odd to write a postnuptial agreement. But often, engaged couples are so busy planning the wedding that the less exciting financial elements of their relationship take a backseat. A postnuptial agreement is a way to address those issues that may have been overlooked during the honeymoon stage.

What is the Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement?

Just like a prenup, a postnuptial agreement is a legal contract wherein spouses agree ahead of time on the way certain things will be addressed during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. One way postnuptial agreements do this is by determining what was “premarital property” – assets owned by only one spouse before the marriage – and what is “marital property” – assets acquired by both spouses during the course of the marriage.

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DuPage County child custody attorneyMost parents who get a divorce in Illinois settle on a schedule for sharing parental responsibilities for their child. When the divorce first happens, courts will help parents draft a parenting plan known as a Parental Allocation Agreement.

These agreements outline the duties and responsibilities of each parent, including which home a child will spend some or all of their time in, special arrangements for holidays and other occasions, and decision-making for things such as the child’s education, religious instruction, and healthcare.

Parenting plans can also contain a provision regarding a concept called “the right of first refusal.” In this post, we will discuss what the right of first refusal is, how it is meant to help children, and how it will affect your responsibilities as a parent.

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DuPage County child support attorneyOnce an Illinois divorce decree is final, child support payments become a legally binding obligation. In addition to the devastating consequences a lack of timely payments can have on a family’s financial needs, there are serious legal consequences for failing to pay child support. Spouses cannot simply agree to re-negotiate child support themselves; any modifications to child support must be made by a court order.

The paying parent may fall behind on child support payments because of a change in their financial situation, or because they simply stop paying. Regardless of the reason, recovering unpaid child support can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor. Fortunately, there is legal recourse available for parents who need to recover past child support payments.

Legal Consequences

The State of Illinois takes the welfare of children very seriously. There is a specific law, called the Non-Support Punishment Act, that lists several behaviors for which a non-paying parent may face criminal charges. According to this law, a person can be held accountable for failure to support if he or she has the ability to provide the support and does one of the following:

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