Lake County Child Support Lawyer

Illinois Child Support Attorney primarily servicing Lake County, Kane County, McHenry County, and Cook County

A divorce or legal separation often triggers strong emotions and a potentially contentious process. Many divorcing spouses or separating parents look forward to closing the chapter on their broken relationship and moving forward with their lives.

However, when children are involved, the next chapter in a parent’s life requires parents to remain in contact for the purposes of raising and providing financial support for their children. 

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may have the right to receive child support from the other parent, or you may find yourself being obligated to pay child support to the other parent. Child support was created to provide adequate support for the upbringing of children.  

A Lake County, Kane County, McHenry County, or Cook County child support lawyer at Manassa Law, P.C. can explain how Illinois child support laws work and what you can expect as you and your spouse dissolve your marriage, or as you and the other parent formally separate.

Illinois Child Support Is Not a Windfall or Penalty

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Illinois places a duty on each parent to financially support their children. Therefore, you must continue providing financial support for your children after a divorce, legal separation, or break up.

Child support is not intended to create a financial windfall to the receiver of child support. This is show by Illinois adoption of the Income Shares Model for child support. This model requires the court to assess both parent’s incomes for child support purposes to ensure that the financial resources of both parties are properly allocated to the support of the children. 

Child support is intended to provide the roof over the children’s head, the clothes on their back, and the food in their stomachs. This ensures that the children are living a lifestyle that is similar to their lifestyle had the parents not ended their relationship. 

When child support is calculated correctly, the parent paying the support should not feel penalized nor should the parent receiving the support feel as if they are winning some financial game. Child support should always be viewed as a direct benefit the children 

Why Is Calculating Illinois Child Support So Important?

Lake County Child Support Lawyer

Parental financial responsibilities are not optional, and you cannot refuse to pay child support or waive the right to receive support on behalf of your child. Illinois’ child support law, 750 ILCS 5/505 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes outlines parents’ obligation to support their children after a divorce or a separation. 

The required shared monthly financial obligation and a parent’s portion of that obligation can be affected by various factors such as the number of children that require financial support, the number of overnights the paying parent has with the children, the needs of the child, the resources of each parent and additional expenses such as health insurance premiums and childcare. Working with an experienced Lake County child support attorney is crucial to accurately set child support from the very start. A skilled child support attorney can prepare support calculations based on the legal requirements and ensure your children receive a fair amount of financial support from both parents. 

Remember, the court must consider your children’s best interests before anything else. The only person looking out for you is your own lawyer. Trust the dedicated family law attorneys at Manassa Law to protect your legal rights during every step of your divorce or separation.

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

The law considers several factors when determining who is obligated to pay support, who may receive it on behalf of a child, and the necessary amount of child support given the resources of the parents and the needs of the child. Regardless of whether you are the child support payor or the recipient, the amount of support must be adequate, appropriate, and fair. 

Calculating child support in Illinois involves applying a specific formula and considering the appropriate application of that formula. The formula is not perfect and can calculate a support amount that is inadequate, inappropriate, and/or unfairfair. Thus, the court is given the discretion to deviate from this formula and calculate a child support amount that is better suited for your child’s needs and circumstances. 

For example, if both parents exercise equal or similar parenting time, then less child support may be ordered to reflect this arrangement. If one parent has significantly more parenting time with the children, then the parent with less parenting time may be ordered to pay more child support to ensure the paying parent provides the necessary financial support for the child. 

Child Support Calculation Formulas

As of July 1, 2017, Illinois adopted the Income Shares Model which requires courts to consider both parents’ income when calculating child support.

To determine a basic child support obligation:

  1. Calculate each parent’s gross income.
  2. Calculate each parent’s monthly net income by applying the standardized tax deductions and incorporating other refundable tax credits such as the child care tax credit and the earned income tax credit. 
  3. Add the two parent’s net incomes to calculate the combined monthly net income
  4. Divide each parties’ net income by the combined net income to determine each parent’s percentage of the shared monthly financial obligation of the child
  5. Using the schedule of basic child support obligations, select the corresponding appropriate amount of support based on the parents’ combined net incomes and the number of children involved;
  6. Calculate both parent’s share of the basic child support obligation by applying each parent’s percentage to the shared basic child support obligation. This will indicate how much each parent is required to contribute.

The court must follow this formula (called the ‘statutory guidelines’) unless the court finds that the statutory guidelines would be inappropriate under the circumstances. To determine whether the statutory guidelines are appropriate, the court will consider several factors including:

  • The child’s financial needs and resources;
  • Each parent’s financial needs and resources;
  • The child’s expected standard of living if the parents did not divorce or separate;
  • The child’s educational, emotional, and/or physical needs.

How Long Does Child Support Last, and What if I Need to Modify Support?

Illinois child support continues until the child reaches age 18, or, if they are still enrolled in high school full-time at age 18, support continues until the child graduates from high school or turns 19, whichever comes first. Illinois calls this the emancipation of the child. Circumstances will likely change between the original child support calculation and the emancipation of the child. When circumstances do change, you may need to modify child support.

If the parents cannot agree on a new amount of child support, either parent can request a modification under certain circumstances. Support modifications are not taken lightly, and the person requesting a change must meet strict requirements. 

If you are facing financial hardship, either because you are paying too much support or not receiving enough support for your child, reach out to the compassionate child support lawyers at Manassa Law today.

This is just a general explanation of Illinois child support obligations. Many different circumstances can affect the amount of child support you may pay or receive.

Our Child Support Lawyers Can Guide You Through the Complicated Support Process

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At Manassa Law P.C., our primary concern is protecting your legal rights and your children’s best interests. When parents live separately, it can be difficult to cover regular household expenses while paying for their child’s needs and trying to provide the lifestyle the kids have grown accustomed to. 

Our goal is to help you and your children receive the support you need to move forward after a marriage or partnership dissolves.

The skilled divorce attorneys at Manassa Law can guide you through many child support issues, including:

  • Determining child support;
  • Creating child support agreements;
  • Modifying existing child support agreements;
  • Terminating child support obligations; and
  • Enforcing child support orders.

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect. When you partner with a compassionate family law attorney at our law firm, we will be there for you during this difficult time and even after your divorce is finalized if things change and you need help. 

For instance, you may need to revise your child care or support agreement or enforce an existing agreement and pursue back payments. Our team of legal professionals can negotiate and advocate for you in the Illinois family court system. 

Illinois law has provisions that help parents enforce the payment of child support through various enforcement actions that can result in the garnishment of their wages, recouping their tax refunds to pay past due support, and/or a judgment for them to pay your attorney’s fees. A parent who doesn’t follow a child support order can also be incarcerated, lose their driving privileges, and have their passport revoked if they are able to pay support but refuse.  

If you are facing hard times and can’t pay child support due to a job loss, medical problems, or some other unexpected issue, contact one of our child support attorneys to help you modify your child support order. Our Lake County, Kane County, McHenry County, and Cook County support lawyers can explain the effects of your hardship and request relief so you do not violate a court order.

Contact the Illinois Child Support Lawyers at Manassa Law P.C. to Learn More

Our law firm has decades of experience and the resources needed to help parents navigate the most complicated Illinois family law cases quickly and confidently. We can protect your parenting rights and financial resources to help you and your child move forward with your lives. 

Count on us to calculate and enforce child support for your children to ensure financial security after your divorce or separation is finalized. Our Lake County family law attorney can help you reach a fair resolution while protecting your legal rights and meeting your children’s needs. During a free consultation, we’ll answer any questions about parenting rights, child support, property division, and more. 

Lawrence S. Manassa, Child Support Attroney
Child Support Lawyer in Lake County, Lawrence S. Manassa