It is required by Illinois law that both parents support their children. Thus, the divorce court can award child support to the mother or father to benefit the children. Child support is usually awarded to the parent with the children the most. But what happens if you do not pay child support? Find out below, and if you have questions, our child support attorneys in Skokie can assist you.
Not paying child support in Illinois is a serious matter. If it is not paid, a federal Child Support Enforcement program partners with states to ensure that children get the financial support they need. This national program locates parents, proves paternity (if necessary), and enforces state child support orders.
Also, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services handles state enforcement. Child support orders are entered into the department’s database, and payments are monitored. If the custodial parent notifies the department of nonpayment, it can initiate a collection action. Other possible outcomes of not paying child support are being held in contempt of court, paying heavy attorney fees to the other parent, and even going to jail. All these adverse outcomes can affect your livelihood, so it is imperative to pay child support.
The method used to determine the amount of child support in Illinois is the income shares model, which is based on both parents’ net income and the number of children. The child support guidelines require the financial information of both parents to determine the child support payment. Either parent can be required to pay child support, but only one parent will be ordered to give child support to the other party.
Child support ordered by the court must be paid until the youngest or only child reaches age 19 or graduates from high school (whichever comes first). Unless the parties agree differently, child support ends upon emancipation.
The child support guidelines in Illinois consider shared custody; when each parent has the child often, it can lead to increased living costs. For example, parents must provide each child with a bedroom and other basics.
Illinois has a separate worksheet to determine child support payments when each party has the child for at least 146 nights per year. In this case, the total child support obligation is multiplied by 1.5.
The judge can order a different amount of child support than the guidelines require. But the judge must explain why the change was made. For example, the judge could order child support that deviates from the guidelines if the standard of living differs considerably from the child’s when the parents were married. In this case, other factors that could influence child support are the child’s special needs or the parent’s financial resources and needs.
Child support matters can be contentious. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may have a better case outcome. Contact our child support attorneys in Skokie at Gordon & Perlut, LLC for help at (312) 360-0250.