Wheaton child support lawyerWhile there are many issues in a divorce that can cause major disagreements, most people will agree that it is the issues surrounding the children that often result in the most fighting. Even long after the divorce has been finalized and child custody and child support decided, fighting can still – and often does – occur.

It is no secret that child support causes angst for many parents, no matter what side of the payment they are on. Many receiving parents complain that the amount the other parent is paying does not come close to covering the actual expenses of raising the child, while many paying parents complain they are handing over too much money to their ex each month. This can lead to resentment and even refusal to pay the amount the court has ordered them to.

When this happens, the custodial parent often wonders if they can legally stop parenting time for a parent who has stopped paying child support.

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The most responsible parents in Illinois sometimes lose their jobs, face unexpected expenses, or deal with other challenging circumstances that cause them to fall behind on their child support. Unfortunately, missing child support payments can cause a snowball of debt to quickly accumulate, threatening not only your financial stability but that of your children as well. If you are facing sanctions for unpaid child support, meet with an attorney who can help you explore your options, including requesting a child support modification from an Illinois court.

What Happens if You Miss Child Support Payments? 

The first consequence of unpaid child support is the interest a court may charge, starting 30 days after child support is unpaid. While interest is no longer automatically applied in cases managed by DHFS, interest can be calculated for every missed payment, continues to accrue as long as the support remains unpaid, and is paid to the parent receiving child support payments. Other consequences of not paying child support on time include, but are not limited to: 

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IL divorce lawyerBefore major changes to Illinois’ child support laws in 2017, parents could calculate their child support obligations according to the paying parent’s income and how many minor children they had to support. Today, Illinois uses a new method called the “income shares” method. Parents getting divorced, as well as parents who are modifying an old child support order given before the change in the law, will have payments calculated according to both parents’ net incomes and parenting time allocation. If you are paying child support to more than one person, it is important to understand how the income shares method impacts you.

What Is Illinois’ Income Shares Method?

The income shares method combines both parents’ net income to determine what financial resources would be available to a child if the parents were still married. The combined net income and number of dependent children are then located on the Illinois income shares chart to determine the overall child support obligation for which both parents are responsible. Finally, payments are affected by the percentage of time a child spends with each parent.

How Do Other Payments Affect New Child Support Obligations?

To prevent someone from being overwhelmed or impoverished by multiple child support payments, a parent’s previous child support and spousal maintenance obligations are deducted from that parent’s gross income when calculating a new support obligation. For example, if someone makes $100,000 a year and is paying $20,000 in combined child and spousal support payments to an ex-wife, his net income for the purposes of a new child support order will be $80,000.

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Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County Child Support LawyerChild support is understandably one of the most contentious elements of divorce. Parents who receive child support often feel as though the funds are insufficient for the needs of the children, or fear they will struggle to provide if the paying parent fails to meet his or her obligations. For the parent who is responsible for making child support payments, he or she often worries that the children’s needs are being neglected while the receiving parent buys things for themself. 

Illinois law allows parents receiving child support wide leeway when deciding how to spend the money. Unfortunately, however, there are parents who neglect their children’s needs because of frivolous spending on themselves. In situations like this, legal remedies are available. 

Legitimate Child Support Expenditures

Child support is intended to ensure children have what they need to grow up healthy and whole, and the parent who receives child support is responsible for using that money to meet the child’s needs. Food, clothing, and medical expenses are absolute necessities and the failure to provide these can result in serious harm to a child’s wellbeing. 

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IL divorce lawyerYour previous marriage is behind you and you have moved on with your life after divorce. In fact, you have even met someone new, and are considering getting remarried. Thinking about your former spouse is probably the last thing you want to do in this situation, but your remarriage can have a substantial impact on your divorce agreement and future arrangements with your ex.

Understanding how a new marriage may affect spousal support and child support is an important part of getting remarried because the changes could impact not only you but your future spouse as well.

How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Support in Illinois?

For the recipient of spousal support, getting remarried terminates the right to receive payments. However, many recipients of spousal support know this and will attempt to delay or avoid getting remarried in order to continue receiving spousal support. Illinois law disfavors this strategy and dictates that spousal support terminates when the recipient spouse begins cohabitating with a new partner. The recipient is required by law to immediately notify their former spouse of their remarriage or cohabitation.

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