January 5, 2016

How Does the Illinois Child Support Process Work When Parents Split Up?

Child Custody

One of the biggest questions parents have when they split up is how will child support work. Parents have a legal duty to financially support their children, and that obligation does not end just because the relationship has ended.

Child Support Guidelines

Illinois has a set of guidelines judges are required to consider when setting child support. The guidelines are a floor for child support. The amount of child support under the guidelines is based upon net income and the number of children there are to support.

However, judges are charged with making decisions in the best interest of the child and can set the monthly child support payments higher than the guidelines, if the circumstances call for it. Things like the resources of the parents, the lifestyle the children lived prior to the parental separation, and any special needs of the children are factors judges look at when setting child support.

The parent that does not live with the children most of the time is the one who will be required to pay child support. Child support is usually paid until a child reaches 18, but there are some circumstances where payments may continue past that time.

Collections and Late Payments

Most of the time child support payments are processed by Illinois Child Support Services. Child support is deducted directly from the payor parent’s paycheck and Child Support Services then sends the child support to the other parent. Even though child support is for the children, the payments are given to the custodial parent.

It is possible to work out a different arrangement for the payment of child support, but payments not processed through the state will not be tracked by the state.

If a parent fails to honor their child support obligation they may have their driver’s license suspended. They may also be found in contempt of court. This can result in further financial penalties, or even jail time. Unpaid child support also accumulates interest and can have a negative impact on the non-paying parent’s credit score.

If due to financial reasons, such as a change in job or reduction is salary, you cannot pay the ordered child support amount, you may be able to have child support modified.

If you have any questions about support, custody, divorce, or any other family law issues, you need to contact a dedicated and experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call the firm of Mulyk Laho Law, LLC today at 630-852-1100 to setup a consultation. Protect your family and learn about your rights.