Category Archives: Child Support

How Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in Illinois?

DuPage County child support modification attorneyAfter you have gone through 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 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.

An Experienced DuPage County Child Support Lawyer Can Help

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.



How Do Mothers’ Rights Impact an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton divorce attorneyIn recent years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on fathers’ rights during and after a divorce. This is partly due to a trend in which many dads have taken more active roles in parenting compared to fathers in previous generations. In divorces that took place in the past, mothers were typically awarded what was called “sole custody” of the children, as well as alimony, child support, the marital home, and other assets. However, things often turn out differently in today’s divorces, since many mothers and fathers share in earning household income and raising children.

In modern divorce cases, mothers’ rights regarding child custody should not be automatically assumed like they often were in the past. During divorce, both parents should be sure to understand their rights and the ways they can reach a favorable outcome.

Protecting the Best Interests of the Child

In Illinois, the court is instructed to consider what is in the best interests of the child when it comes to the “allocation of parental responsibilities” (formerly known as child custody) and “parenting time” (formerly known as visitation). According to Illinois law, if married parents reside in the state, then a family court will decide on these matters as a part of their divorce proceedings. For an unmarried couple, paternity must be established before a court can address matters of parental responsibility and parenting time.

Many factors play a part in deciding parental rights. While the court will not necessarily address which parent is “better” or “worse,” it will consider how the decisions made will affect the child’s well-being. Some of these factors a judge will consider when determining what is in a child’s best interests include:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents regarding who will have parental responsibilities

  • The wishes of the child

  • The child’s relationship with parents, siblings, and other relatives

  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community

  • The mental and physical health of all family members who are involved in the child’s life

  • The occurrence or threat of physical violence against the child by either parent

  • Any domestic abuse against the child or others in the household

  • The willingness of each parent to promote a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent

  • Whether either parent is a sex offender

Mothers play pivotal roles in the nurturing and development of their children. Therefore, they should have equal rights and a say in the outcome of a divorce, especially when it comes to future parenting.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

There are many aspects to consider during a divorce, and decisions about parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities are often some of the most important issues to resolve. If you are a mother who is concerned about your rights as a divorcee, the compassionate legal team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will explain your rights and work with you to reach a positive outcome to your case. Call a compassionate DuPage County divorce lawyer at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.



As a Non-Custodial Parent, Do I Have to Pay for College?

Wheaton, IL family law attorneysWhile child support may have been originally decided years ago with your divorce, that does not mean the court order will remain unchanged. Even after a child reaches the age of 18, the parent who pays child support sometimes still has obligations, particularly if they have the financial means to pay for college, and the other parent does not have the ability to do so.

How Does the Court Make a Decision?

Not all children end up going to college, and not all children of divorce go, either. If a child’s parents do not have the ability to pay, they will either have to come up with the money themselves, take out loans, or simply not attend. However, if their parents do have the means to pay, and the child has proven academic success, the court may decide to create an order of support for college expenses that the non-custodial parent is responsible for. To make this decision, the court will consider the following:

  • Finances of each parent;
  • Finances of the child, such as scholarships or financial aid;
  • Child’s academic achievements; and
  • Standard of living the child has become accustomed to.

As such, if the child was not planning on attending college, their grades are not good enough to get in, or the custodial parent has substantially more financial resources to pay for college, the court will likely not require you, the non-custodial parent, to pay, or will only require you to pay a small portion.

Looking at the Full Picture of College Expenses

Tuition at Illinois public universities ranges between $13,000 per year to around $21,000, depending on the school and major. The least expensive option is a community college, which ranges between $3,500 to $6,000 per year. These tuition fees alone can cause a shudder of financial fear for a parent asked to pay. However, college expenses do not stop there. In addition to tuition fees, a non-custodial parent may also be required to pay for or contribute to room and board, transportation costs, health insurance, dental fees, book costs, and other living expenses. However, as per 750 ILCS 5/513, total college fees that a non-custodial parent is responsible for are capped at what a student would have to pay to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Call a DuPage County Child Support Attorney

As a non-custodial parent, it is understandable that you have mixed feelings about paying for your child’s tuition and other college expenses. On the one hand, you want what is best for your son or daughter. On the other hand, you may not have the resources to make this happen, and court-ordered support could cause you serious financial difficulties. For help, call the Wheaton, IL child support attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.