The Chicago Family Law Blog

Child Support in Chicago

Similar to alimony, child support is intended to protect children from the financial inequities that often come with divorce. Typically, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent in order to help with the financial responsibilities of raising a child; but in some rare instances, both parents pay child support to a third party who is raising that child. Even though child support is paid to the custodial parent, it is legally considered as belonging to the child. Unfortunately not everyone pays their owed child support, so the state of Illinois has several programs in place (including a Deadbeat Parents website) to encourage compliance.

Child support is calculated by considering the needs of the child, the income of the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay and the child’s standard of living prior to the divorce. Chicago family law attorneys are trained to help parents receive the appropriate level of support for their child.


Recently in Child Support Category

5 Ways Divorce Mediation Can Keep You Out of Court

A growing number of couples are turning to divorce mediation before heading to court in an effort to save time and money in an otherwise expensive divorce process.

If the mediation process works, then you're all set. If it doesn't, you can still go back to court to resolve any outstanding issues.

Here are five issues that can be decided ahead of time in a successful mediation:

How Do I Modify Child Support Payments?

Whether it's a new job or a medical injury, it's not uncommon for child support needs to change when a child's or parent's circumstances change. Fortunately, parents with new needs can make arrangements for child support modification. In general, the payment amount may be increased or decreased depending on certain circumstances.

Here are three ways you can modify child support payments:

High School Graduation? Time to Modify Your Support Order

With high school graduations come the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. The same goes for child support orders.

In most states, a child support order ends when a child graduates or turns 18.

But in Illinois, the rules are slightly different.

Beware Facebook and Other Social Media During Divorce

Social media and divorce just don't mix.

The combination can be lethal for divorce proceedings. It's fertile ground for incriminating evidence.

A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 64% of respondents cited Match.com as a source of evidence for divorce cases.

That means divorce attorneys are trolling social media websites for information to help their cases.

Child Support, Alimony, and Taxes: What You Need to Know

Divorce decrees that include child support and alimony, like most do, can make your finances more complicated, especially around tax time.

Not only do you have to account for your income to the IRS, you also want to avoid paying more in taxes than you need to. What you really need is a primer on how your child support and alimony payments will affect your tax obligation.

The good news is both of those will lessen your tax burden. But they each have a different tax status according to the IRS.

Los Angeles Laker Steve Nash Fights to Keep Kids in Arizona

This might be the oddest custody dispute in recent memory. Two time MVP and perennial NBA All-Star Steve Nash, of the Los Angeles Lakers, is fighting his ex-wife over her plans to move his children closer to him, reports TMZ. Ironically, Canadian-born Nash cited Los Angeles' proximity to Phoenix as his reason for choosing the Lakers over other suitors, including the Toronto Raptors. 

Normally, a custody battle is keep a parent from moving the children further from their parents. This battle is allegedly being fought to keep them away. Why? Well, because of a gag order in the case, the exact reasons may remain unknown. TMZ speculates that it may have something to do with child support. A less cynical explanation might be that he's trying to avoid uprooting the children.

Child Support After 19: Disabled Dependants and College Kids

The obligation to pay child support typically ends when a child reaches the age of majority, or when the child graduates high school, whichever is later. The age of majority is 18 in Illinois. So, how could you end up paying thousands of dollars per year to support your 19-year-old child?

Illinois law provides two major exceptions to this rule: the disabled child and the soon-to-be highly educated child. If your son or daughter is physically or mentally disabled, and has not otherwise been emancipated by court order, an order for continued support can be made by the court. This means you could end up supporting the child indefinitely.

The Boy IS Yours: Establishing Paternity

We understand. Not all parents take responsibility for their children. In fact, some even deny that the child is theirs. What can you do if either the father is not stepping up or the mother denies that you are the father?

There are two legal routes: the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is some paperwork. The hard way means legal battles, paperwork, DNA testing, and probably lawyers. Choose wisely.

Baby Mama Drama: What to do When the Kid Isn't Yours

She says it's yours. You know it isn't. After all, nine months ago, you were broken up and you were a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. Nonetheless, because you were married at the time of conception, the baby is legally presumed to be yours. How do you fix it?

We've all been there. (Maybe.) Especially the Rhodes Scholar part. What you do to fix the problem depends on what stage of the process you are stuck at.

Technology Makes Divorce Easier: Helpful Apps

What would divorce be like if it was as simple as using an app? While we haven’t quite progressed (or regressed) that far, there are a handful of apps that can help you through the process.

The first, and main app that you should look at is the Illinois Legal Aid Society’s app for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. It is pretty remarkable that a non-profit agency that provides services to low income Illinois residents could have the funding and ability to come up with such a comprehensive app, though we shouldn’t be surprised after seeing their ridiculously useful website.