I represent clients out of offices in Chicago and Wheaton, in cases throughout Cook and DuPage Counties, in setting child support, child support enforcement, modification (increase/decrease), and related issues, including post-high school/college expense contributions, uninsured medical expenses, extracurricular expenses and support for disabled adult children.
Each child's parents have a legal obligation to financially support the child. That obligation lasts until the child reaches "the age of majority", in Illinois, 18, unless the child is still attending high school, in which case until the she/he graduates, but in not past the age of 19. Child support can be terminated early if the child marries, joins the military, or becomes self-supporting.
In Illinois child support is set using the Percentage method. Whatever approach is used, courts look at a variety of sources to determine the paying parent's income and ability to pay. Income may include wages and the following items:
People who receive welfare payments or who are unemployed without wages will usually be ordered to make a small monthly payment. A court may assign an income different than the one a paying parent appears to have if they believe they are capable of higher earnings.
Typically, the following statutory minimums will be used to establish the support amount.
Once child support is ordered, it can be enforced through a variety of measures. The most common is a petition seeking to hold the non-paying parent in contempt (Petition for Rule to Show Cause). If the failure to pay is willful, the parent can be sentenced to jail until/unless she/he purges her/his contempt by paying a certain amount toward the back child support. Other enforcement tools include garnishing assets, taking tax refunds, suspending driver's and other licenses.
Typically, child support can be modified (upward or downward) upon showing a substantial change in circumstances. Such changes include a substantial increase/decrease in the paying parent's income and substantial increase in the child's expenses.
In addition to child support, the following can be required:
I have offices in DuPage County and downtown Chicago, with offices by appointment throughout the Chicagoland area. I am always available, providing you my mobile number and responding to calls and e-mails same day whenever possible. I do not accept cases I do not intend on handling attentively and well. My aim is to do the worrying for you so you can go on with your life. Please contact me to learn more. It would also be helpful if you complete and submit the Family Law Questionnaire.