Free Initial Consultations


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_395639623-min.jpgUnmarried and divorced parents are often required to pay child support to their child's other parent. The amount of parent pays is based on the Income Shares Model, which considers both parents’ net incomes to determine an appropriate payment amount.

Child support is crucial for covering child-related expenses such as housing, tuition or other educational costs, extracurricular activity fees, and more. If a parent fails to comply with an Illinois child support order, the Illinois Department for Child Support Services has the authority to take enforcement actions. One such action is suspending the non-complying parent’s driver’s license.

Child Support Enforcement in Illinois

Child support is ultimately for the child. Illinois lawmakers believe that a child should receive financial support from both of their parents even if their parents are not married or have gotten divorced. Parents who fail to make their child support payments in full and on time can face various consequences.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_252726718-min.jpg Divorced and unmarried parents of minor children in Illinois often rely on their child’s other parent to make timely child support payments. When the parent responsible for making payments falls behind on his or her payments or stops paying altogether, it can leave the receiving parent in a terrible bind. Parents who are desperate to get child support payments back may understandably want to escalate matters but may be reluctant to get a Court involved because they fear the expense and hassle that could ensue. 

Unfortunately, parents who stop following the parenting time schedule described in their Court-ordered parenting plan because of unpaid child support can face legal consequences, just as a parent who stops paying child support can. Instead, it is better to follow the law and allow a Court, with the help of an experienced attorney, to take action against someone whose child support payments are in arrears. 

Recovering Unpaid Child Support

Child support and parenting time are both contained within the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, but they are two separate statutes that are mostly decided independently of each other. While it is true that child support payments may be increased or decreased depending on the amount of time the paying parent spends with a child in shared parenting time scenarios, stopping one does not justify stopping the other.


palatine child support lawyerChild support provides financial assistance to parents with the majority of the parenting time. The funds received through child support may be used for rent or mortgage payments, educational costs, groceries, and other expenses. Once the child becomes an adult, he or she is expected to become financially independent. Child support payments usually terminate when the child reaches adulthood and graduates high school. Sometimes, child support payments are extended until the child completes an undergraduate degree.

If a child has a disability, he or she may not be able to reach the same level of financial independence as a child without a disability. Disabled children and their parents may require financial support in the form of child support even after the child becomes an adult. Fortunately, Illinois law provides the opportunity for non-minor support in situations like this.

Extending a Child Support Order When a Child Has Disabilities

Children with disabilities often require extra medical care and educational services, which can become quite expensive. If your child has a disability, you may worry about how you will cover these costs once your child is an adult. Fortunately, you can petition the Court for non-minor support.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1134923861-2.jpgWhen parents divorce, the final divorce decree will contain the terms of the divorce, including child custody terms. The parents are required to follow these terms. Failure one-size-fits-all to charges for contempt of Court. However, circumstances change, and sometimes, the initial child custody terms are no longer appropriate for the situation. Read on for several frequently asked questions about modifying child custody in Illinois.

How Can I Change My Parenting Plan?

Illinois parents use a Parenting Plan or Parenting Agreement to describe how they will share parenting duties. Illinois law classifies parenting duties into two main categories: Parental responsibilities are decision-making responsibilities, and parenting time is the time a child spends with each parent.

If you wish to modify parenting time, you may do so if the modification serves the child’s best interests. If you and your spouse agree on the modification, you can submit the modification to the Court for approval. If you and the other parent disagree about the proposed modification, the Court may require you to attend family law mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful and you still disagree about the parenting time modification, the Court may appoint a guardian ad litem or child custody evaluator to assess the situation and provide the Court with an informed opinion.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_95098831.jpgMany parents struggle to pay for college expenses such as tuition, room and board, and related fees. In the United States, the costs associated with obtaining a college education are incredibly high, with college tuition sometimes costing upwards of six figures for four-year schools.

No matter which college your child chooses to attend, tuition rates will likely be high. But if you are divorced in the state of Illinois, you may be wondering who pays for college between you and your ex. Do you both need to pay? Is a 50/50 division of tuition applied to a situation like this?

Illinois Law Regarding College Expenses For Non-Minor Children

Illinois imposes a rare law that may require parents to contribute equal amounts of money toward their child's college expenses until the child turns twenty-three years old. However, it is also possible for this Court order to be extended until the child turns twenty-five years old.


Introducing The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson

Nicholas W. Richardson is an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator whose comprehensive legal knowledge, commitment to clients and reputation for results bring lasting solutions to your problems.

Back to Top