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Kane County child support lawyerMajor revisions have been  made to the way that child support is calculated by courts in Illinois. The Illinois legislature has been wrestling with the way that child support has been calculated in our state for many years, but as of this month, much-needed changes are finally here.

What is New About The Law?

The law, which went into effect on July 1, changes an outdated, static, and unchanging methodology for child support calculations and switches Illinois to an income shares model used by many other states.

Kane County family law attorneyFamily courts do their best to be equitable in making decisions regarding child support, and they look to ensure that the amount ordered as payable is one that both parents can manage. Sometimes, however, payments are not made for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are safeguards in place that ensure that back child support or maintenance payments may be collected.

Notices of Withholding Income for Support

If you are not receiving your child support payments, you may contact Illinois’s Division of Child Support Services, or you may involve the family court where your divorce was handled. Either way, it is incumbent upon you to ask for back child support. If you can back up your claim, the court will enter an arrearage against the parent owing support. Usually, when a Uniform Order of Child Support is ordered, a Notice to Withhold Income for Support is sent to the employer of the paying parent, advising them to withhold a certain amount and forward it to the state. If an arrearage occurs, a new Notice must be sent to let the employer know that more must be taken out to cover it.

Kane County divorce lawyerOften, the number one fear of parents contemplating or currently going through a divorce is that it will negatively affect the children. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet cure for the pain caused by ending a marriage. Getting a divorce is complicated and messy, but this upheaval does not last forever. There are steps you can take to lessen the burden on your children and help them to not only navigate this new family structure but to thrive in it.

Staying Together May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Some couples consider divorce completely out of the question and commit to “staying together for the kids” even if they are obviously miserable together. Such couples believe that the children living with both parents at the same time is better for them than a shared custody arrangement. Research has shown, however, that children who live in a home with fighting, arguing, and tension are deeply hurt by this.

Kane County child support lawyerWhen a court enters a Uniform Order of Child Support, the obligation to pay support exists until a fixed point in time, usually when a child reaches 18 years of age. However, there are other points at which an obligation may be terminated, either by law, court order, or mutual agreement. It is critical to know what those points may be.

Common Events That End Child Support Obligations

The most common event, as one might imagine, is that the child in question reaches the age of 18, which is considered the age of majority in Illinois and all but a handful of U.S. states. The rationale is simply that no child support may be owed for someone who is no longer a child. However, it is possible that the custodial parent may petition the court to extend the support obligation until the child has either graduated high school or has turned 19 years old. Graduating high school is considered a formative event, and if a child has not yet completed it, their custodial parent may require a few more months or years of support.

Kane County family law attorneysWhen the other parent in an allocation of parental responsibilities case is given the majority of the parenting time, it can feel like you will only rarely see your child. However, there are many things you can do to increase your time that you and your children get to spend together. Even if the court has decided it is not in the child’s best interest for you to be the primary caretaker, that does not mean you cannot play a vital role your child’s life.

Right of First Refusal

Under Illinois law, when the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent can ask the court for the “right of first refusal” when childcare is needed. This means that before the child is put in daycare or a sitter is called, the other parent should be given the chance to be with their child instead.

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