Category Archives: Child Support

How Common Is it for Mothers to Pay Child Support in Illinois?

DuPage County child support attorneyWhile it might be easy to assume that fathers usually end up being the ones paying child support after divorce, the truth these days is much more complicated than that. Although prior views of fathers being the primary breadwinners and mothers being the primary caregivers in the family dynamic were true for many years, this has become less and less common in this day and age. A look at the latest information proves that the times are certainly changing—as are the trends in child support and spousal support.

Latest Developments in Child and Spousal Support Defy Stereotypes

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that all alimony must be viewed as gender-neutral. This opened the door to men not always having to be the ones who are financially responsible for spousal maintenance payments after divorce. Since then, the latest developments in child support and spousal support payments alike have progressed in a way that defies stereotypes. For example:

  • The latest trends suggest that more and more women are paying some sort of support to men after divorce. Whether it is child support or spousal maintenance—or both—there has been an uptick in women paying money to their ex-husbands, as reported by many divorce attorneys over the last few years. This is representative of an overall shift in the economy, as not only are both men and women working full time despite being married and having kids, but in some cases, women are even becoming the primary breadwinners. In fact, Pew Research has found that mothers are the primary income earners in four out of 10 families in the United States.
  • As more women pay child support or spousal maintenance, more data is coming in to suggest that men are more likely to fulfill their financial obligations after divorces than women. Within the last decade, some data suggests that while about a quarter of all men failed to make their child support payments, close to 10% more women failed to make those same payments. In other words, the common stereotype of “deadbeat dads” is not always the case.

  • Despite dramatic shifts in family dynamics and the economy in recent years, the majority of child support and spousal maintenance payments are still made by men. Even though all of this new data and information suggests major changes in support payments after divorce, traces of the way things were still remain, with nearly five times as many men having to make support payments to their ex-spouses as women.

Contact a DuPage County Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

The times are changing, and so are family dynamics. Men are not the only ones responsible for spousal maintenance or child support payments. If you are a father or husband who is seeking financial support from your spouse, you have options. Call a Wheaton divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation to discuss your rights as a father and husband. The skilled team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will give you the legal support and guidance you need.


What Will a Judge Consider When Creating a Parenting Plan?

DuPage County parenting plan attorneyThe health and well-being of a couple’s child should always be a top priority when ending a relationship or going through a divorce. During this process, a parenting plan will be created to make decisions and establish rules that the parents should follow regarding issues such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parents can save a lot of time and money by working together and addressing these matters prior to facing a judge. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement, the judge will be required to make legally binding decisions that would reflect the best interests of the child.

Decision-making Responsibilities

The allocation of parental responsibilities, which was formerly known as child custody in Illinois, refers to the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. Illinois law recognizes four areas of parental responsibility: education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities. Unless both parents agree in writing about how to divide these responsibilities, the judge may allocate certain areas of decision-making authority to one parent or have both parents share the responsibility. In most cases, it is beneficial for children to have both parents participate in making decisions about how they should be raised, so a parent may need to have justifications as to why he or she believes certain areas of responsibility should or should not be shared.

Determining Parenting Time

Illinois law states that parents are presumed to be fit and that they have the right to have reasonable amounts of parenting time (formerly known as visitation) with their children. Unless there is evidence that spending parenting time with one parent would put a child in danger, there may not be any restrictions on parenting time for either parent. Ideally, parents should work together to determine a parenting time schedule that gives children a good amount of time with each parent, but in some cases, the judge may need to allocate parenting time based on what is in children’s best interests.

Factors a Judge May Consider

If parents cannot reach an agreement about matters related to their children, the ultimate decision may be left up to the judge in their case. When determining how to allocate parental responsibility and parenting time, the judge may consider the following factors:

  • The child’s needs

  • The child’s relationship with each parent

  • The child’s adjustment to life at school, home, and the community

  • The parents’ and child’s wishes

  • Each parent’s amount of parental responsibilities prior to the separation, as well as the amount of time each parent spent caring for the children

  • Whether or not one of the parents is a convicted sex offender

  • The distance between the parents’ homes, coupled with the cost and difficulty of going back and forth

  • Whether or not any parenting time restrictions are necessary

  • The mental and physical health of everyone involved

  • Any prior physical violence or threats towards the child or another household member

Additionally, any factors deemed relevant by the judge may be included in the deliberation. Before allowing the court to make a major decision on your behalf, it is highly recommended to speak to an experienced lawyer. Separating on good terms and establishing a pattern of trust for your child could result in a much happier future.

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Attorney

Children’s stress and anxiety may decrease if they can see their parents working together with the goal of putting the children’s health and happiness first. If you are able to work with your former partner to reach a decision that benefits your child, this may result in a better outcome then letting an impartial third party decide on how your family’s affairs will be handled. However, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree upon a parenting plan, our experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers can advise you on the best course of legal action. For a free consultation, please call our office at 630-871-1002.


How Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in Illinois?

DuPage County child support modification attorneyAfter you have gone through a divorce and are paying or receiving child support, there may come a time when you believe the amount you pay or the child receives should be adjusted. In Illinois, this may be done through a modification review process.

When Can I Have My Child Support Order Modified?

Under Illinois family law, an order for child support is eligible for modification review every three years, or when there is a significant change in either parent’s income or in the needs of the child. In the case of a three-year review, a parent will receive a letter from the agency in charge, informing them of the right to request a review.

Who Conducts the Modification Review?

Modification reviews of child support orders in Illinois are done by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). The agency is tasked with the responsibility to make sure child support orders are consistent with applicable Illinois law and changed circumstances involving all concerned.

What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modification Review?

To qualify for a modification, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • At least three years must have passed since the date child support order was issued or since the date of the decision from the last modification review.

  • There is a substantial change in the non-custodial parent’s income.

  • There is nothing in the order that addresses the child’s healthcare coverage.

  • There is a written communication received by DCSS from the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent, or an agency in another state requesting a review.

If you have requested the modification review, both you and your ex-spouse will receive a letter from DCSS stating whether the order qualifies for modification review or not. You should expect this letter in 30 days or less from when DCSS receives your request. If the order qualifies for a modification, both you and your ex-spouse will be asked to provide information to be evaluated in determining whether your request should be granted.

What Happens After a Child Support Modification Review?

DCSS will analyze the information you and your ex-spouse provide to recalculate the amount of child support your child should receive. The results of the analysis will be sent to you by mail. This notice may state that the amount of child support payments will increase, decrease, or remain unchanged. If you disagree with the decision, the law allows you various ways you can have this decision itself reviewed.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer

Requesting and obtaining a child support modification can be a complicated process, especially when there are other issues that cannot be resolved by DCSS. To ensure that the decisions made will meet your family’s needs while protecting your financial resources, you should work with an attorney who is experienced in family law and understands how the child support modification review process works. If you believe there are good reasons why child support ordered in your case should be modified, our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorneys are ready to help you get the modifications you need. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-871-1002 today.