Dispelling Common Child Support Myths
There are a number of myths circulating about child support in Illinois. Unfortunately, believing one of these myths can cause big legal headaches for you. Learn the truth about child support payments in Illinois:
Myth 1: I Can Send Child Support Payments Directly to the Other Parent
Facts: There are many reasons why it is a bad idea to send your child support payments directly to the other parent. First, if the other parent claims he or she never received your payment, the dispute will descend into a “he said/she said” situation that is difficult to win. Next, submitting your payment to the court (or the agency designated in the child support order) is the surest way to demonstrate to the court that you have satisfied your obligations. Finally, in some cases it may be illegal for the other parent to receive child support directly. In summation, only send your child support payments to the address listed on the order.
Myth 2: I Support My Child by Buying Him or Her Clothing and Other Necessities
Facts: You bought your children school clothing when their old clothes were looking a little frayed and you paid for your child’s field trip last month. No matter what additional purchases you make on behalf of your children, though, the court will not credit these purchases toward your monthly child support obligation. For example, suppose a court has ordered you to pay $125 per month in child support. Even if you were to go shopping with your child and buy him or her $125 worth of clothing and necessities, the court would not consider a single penny of the shopping trip as satisfying your child support obligation. (As an aside, not contributing to your child’s care by helping with the purchase clothing when necessary can be considered against you if you were to attempt to change the residential custody arrangement.)
Myth 3: I Am Entitled to an Accounting of How the Child Support I Am Paying Is Being Spent
Facts: If you are the supporting parent, you may suspect that the parent to whom you pay child support is squandering the support money you pay – especially if that other parent appears to be constantly requesting you to pay for additional expenses like school clothes, extracurricular activities fees. You may feel as if your support payment is high enough as it is, and if the other parent is requesting more from you it must be because he or she mismanages the support you do pay. Unfortunately, the law does not provide a mechanism whereby you can request an “accounting” or require the other parent to account for how he or she spends the support money. The court will assume that the receiving parent spends the support in a responsible manner and for the benefit of the children. If there is a legitimate concern about your children being adequately cared for and provided for by the other parent, this may be the basis for seeking a change in the existing parenting order.
Contact Your DuPage County Child Support Attorney for Assistance
Our skilled DuPage County child support attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable about child support issues and are here to help you understand your obligations. Contact one of our offices today for prompt and relevant legal answers to your questions and concerns.