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DuPage County child support modifications attorneyOne thing that is addressed in all divorce cases involving children is child support. Illinois believes that both parents have a responsibility to financially contribute to the cost of raising a child. Because of this, child support is not just the responsibility of one parent, but rather, an obligation for both. In the state of Illinois, child support is provided to the main caregiver by the child’s other parent until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. Both parents are responsible for what is called the “basic child support obligation.” Each parent’s share of that obligation is determined using a formula that takes into account the incomes of each parent in addition to their parenting time.

Life is not always predictable and can throw curve balls when we least expect it. It is not uncommon for a parent to become unable to handle their current support payments; however, they are legally required to pay them unless their arrangement gets legally modified. In the instance where you believe that your support payments should be modified, you can petition the court to make this change. Before you do that, you must be able to prove that there has been a “significant change in circumstances.” 

Examples of Significant Changes in Circumstances

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are three reasons why a child support order can be modified: there has been a significant change in circumstances, the child support order deviates from the child support guidelines, or the order needs to be changed to address the child’s healthcare needs. A significant change in circumstances is the most common reason why child support orders are modified. These changes in circumstances can include:

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DuPage County parental relocation lawyerFor some, relocation can be a necessary step after divorce. There are many reasons why divorcees would want to move after the divorce is finalized. Some wish to be closer to family members, while others move for a new job. Regardless of the reason, a parent must have primary or equal custody of the child in order to submit a relocation request. In Illinois, relocation includes any move that is at least 25 miles from the child’s current home for those that live in Will, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or McHenry County or moves outside of Illinois state borders. If the child lives in a different county than those listed above, relocation boundaries increase to 50 miles from the current residence to any other part of Illinois. Moving with your child can be stressful, especially if your ex-spouse does not approve of the relocation.

Notice of Relocation

Before you are able to do anything, you must provide your former spouse with notice that you intend to relocate with your child. In the notice, you must include the date of your intended relocation, your new address, and whether or not the relocation is permanent. If the other parent signs the notice, it can be filed with the clerk of the circuit court, and if the judge agrees that the proposed move is in the child's best interests, the parenting plan will be modified. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, the parent seeking to move must file a petition with the court requesting to relocate.

Deciding Factors

If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own, they must take the issue to court. A judge will review the petition for relocation and the other parent's objections to the planned relocation to determine whether the move is in the child's best interests. When the judge is making the decision about the relocation, he or she will consider a variety of factors. These include:

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you get a divorce, everyone is impacted. In many cases, children are the ones who are most affected, because they may not always understand what divorce means. Illinois courts believe that a child flourishes when both parents are in their child’s life and play an active role. Even if a person does not have a personal relationship with their child, parents have a responsibility to provide for their child financially. This is where child support comes in. Both parents are expected to contribute to the financial needs of the child, and they must provide a basic amount of child support, which is determined using a formula defined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, this basic child support obligation does not always account for all of the expenses that are involved in raising a child. Parents may also be required to divide other costs.

Extra Expenses

  • Medical Expenses: Medical care is expensive, which is why it makes sense to require both parents to contribute to these costs. The court can require either parent to add the child to his or her insurance plan. The court can also require both parents to split the out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care.
  • Childcare: The courts will divide the reasonable costs of employment-related childcare between the parents based on the percentage of the basic child support amount that each parent is responsible for. The costs will be added to the basic child support obligation, and payments may be paid to the other parent or to the childcare provider directly.
  • School and Extracurricular Costs: A child’s upbringing can be greatly supplemented by extracurricular activities. Because of this, Illinois courts can order either or both parents to pay for reasonable costs of extracurricular or school activities that are meant to enhance the child’s educational, athletic, social, or cultural development.
  • College Expenses: Attending college or receiving post-secondary education is often a key part of ensuring that a child will have success in life. Because of this, Illinois courts can also order one or both parents to contribute to the costs associated with college. These costs can include tuition, room and board, books, supplies, or other materials.

A Naperville, IL Child Support Attorney Can Help You Get Your Child the Financial Support They Deserve

Not only are both parents expected to contribute to the financial responsibility of raising a child, but they are required by law to do so. Illinois courts will order both parents to pay for costs related to their children, and if they do not, they can face penalties. If you are going through a divorce or are looking to collect child support from your child’s other parent, you should contact a knowledgeable DuPage County child support lawyer. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you figure out an appropriate figure for basic child support and also calculate the appropriate costs to add to that figure for extra expenses. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

 

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