Palatine Child Support Lawyer
Both parents have a duty to financially support their children. Generally, child support is based on statewide guidelines and intended to provide for a child’s day-to-day needs. Determining the amount of support can be tricky when one parent is self-employed or works a seasonal job, or a child has additional expenses not otherwise included in the guideline support calculation.
An experienced lawyer can help clear up confusion in applying the guidelines to child support calculations. Whether you are determining the initial support amount or seeking enforcement or modification of an existing support order, the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., has the knowledge and experience to create a workable solution for you.
Please call our Palatine, Illinois, office at 847.873.6741 or contact us online to request a free initial consultation.
Child Support and Illinois Courts
Under Illinois law, child support determinations are made according to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). This law was recently revised, and new guidelines for determining the amount of child support went into effect on July 1, 2017. Previously, the amount of child support was determined using a percentage of the parent’s income based on the number of children being supported. Following the change to the law, Illinois has moved to a shared income model that takes both parents' incomes into consideration.
Using the new income-sharing guidelines, courts will determine a basic support obligation based on both parents' combined net income and the number of children being supported, and each parent will be obligated to contribute toward this amount based on their percentage share of the combined income. Each parent's amount of parenting time and parental responsibility will also be considered, and in cases of Shared Physical Care, additional calculations will be performed to divide the support obligation based on parents' percentage of overnight stays with their children.
If the parents cannot agree on a support amount, the Court will apply the guidelines set forth in the IMDMA. However, if the Court deems the amount of support inappropriate, pursuant to guidelines, the Court will consider the needs of the child and the financial circumstances of each parent. In order to determine the best needs of the child, the Court can look at the following relevant factors:
- Financial resources and needs of the child
- Financial resources and needs of the custodial parent
- Standard of living prior to the divorce
- Physical and emotional condition of the child
- Educational needs
- Financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent
The Court can also consider any other factors determined to be important for the best needs of the child. If the deviating from the guidelines set forth in the IMDMA, the Court must state what the amount would have been if the guidelines were used and the reasoning for the variance.
Child Support Attorney in Palatine. IL
There are three parts to a child support case:
- Determining initial support
- Enforcing a child support order
- Modifying an existing order to meet changing needs and circumstances.
No matter where you are in your child support case, Attorney Richardson can help.
Initial child support. All children are entitled to financial support from both parents until the age of 18 or graduation from high school, regardless of the parents’ marital status. Illinois guidelines typically set forth the amount of child support paid to the residential parent; however, this may be deviated from upon good cause shown.
Child support enforcement. Sometimes a party ordered by the Court to pay a certain amount of child support fails to pay the required amount or is constantly late with his or her payments. If this is the case, a Court can find that party in contempt, forcing him or her to pay or serve jail time.
Child support modification. The amount of child support payments for a family may be different when calculated using the guidelines of the new law than they were under the old law, but the implementation of this law is not a sufficient reason to modify a child support order which already existed. In order to make any changes to the amount one party pays in child support, the party requesting a modification will need to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances. These types of changes can include the loss of a job, reduced work hours, or disability.
Richardson’s Family Law Approach
Attorney Richardson takes a matter-of-fact approach to your case, makes sure your rights are protected and strives to reach an agreement that serves your child’s best interests. We will answer your questions truthfully and set reasonable and attainable expectations for your case.