When couples divorce or separate, there are many layers as to how the family will manage themselves afterward. From the division of property to spousal maintenance and child support, are some of the relevant issues. When it comes to the children of a divorce, certain interests must be met to help ensure their best interests are being served. Whether it be in terms of medical needs or educational aspects, both parents must come to an agreement as to how to map out the future for their children.
In 2013, 32.2 billion dollars in child support was due to custodial parents across the nation. Unfortunately, not all was received. To make sure you have covered every foreseeable eventuality, it is important to be represented by experienced legal counsel familiar with family law. Drafting agreements is the final step after working diligently and fairly to get a couple to agree to terms.
The Basis for Child Support
Couples separate for a variety of reasons. Making sure their children remain a priority is something they can hopefully agree on. The process, however, can be somewhat tenuous and specific terms can be debated vigorously between the couple via their attorneys.
In Illinois, the non-custodial parent is required to pay a minimum percentage of their income based on the number of children they need to support, outlined as follows:
Number of Children Percent of Supporting Party’s Net Income
1 20 percent
2 28 percent
3 32 percent
4 40 percent
5 45 percent
6 or more 50 percent
The court does have the discretion to modify amounts depending on various factors namely:
- The financial resources and needs of the parents and child;
- Educational needs of the child(ren);
- Consideration of the accustomed standard of living; and
- Other needs of the child(ren), including emotional and physical needs.
This list is not exhaustive, as a parent’s situation can be so varied. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and therefore require the skills of an experienced family law attorney to guide you.
It must be remembered that child support is an obligation on one parent to another to aid and assist in the raising of their children. The children’s needs are paramount, and it a highly-valued source of income to the custodial parent to avoid any lapse in the standards of care they were accustomed to.
In Illinois, a child even over 18 is still eligible to receive support for college or other training beyond high school. Covered expenses might include application fees, tuition fees (private or public), textbooks, course materials and accommodation costs, health insurance, transportation and general day-to-day living expenses. The financial position and capabilities of the parents are taken into account when the court makes a determination of the actual dollar amount. If these expenses will supersede your current child support payments, a modification may be in order.
Modifications to Payments
If you have a child, college bound, it might be that you need a modified amount of child support to cover these payments. This is where proficient legal representation is crucial. If post-divorce/separation decree modifications are sought, seek the experience of the attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC. With offices throughout DuPage County, their skills in working post–decree matters will become evident to you.