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Naperville child support lawyerWhen parents get divorced, there are many things that suddenly become a topic of concern for their children. Once you determine how you will split parenting time, you can then begin to calculate how much child support will be paid by whoever has the least amount of parenting time. In the state of Illinois, child support calculations take into account both parents’ incomes, the number of children, and the amount of parenting time that is allocated to each parent. Child support may also include a child’s medical expenses, which either or both parents can be responsible for. Child support calculations can be complicated and disputed, but an Illinois divorce lawyer can help you ensure your parenting plan addresses your child’s medical needs and his or her medical expenses.

Who Maintains the Child’s Health Insurance Coverage?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a portion of the basic child support payment made each month to the custodial parent is intended to be used for basic medical expenses, such as cough medication if the child had a cold. However, the court does have the authority to order either or both parents to add the child to an existing policy held by either of the parents or purchase health insurance coverage for the child.

How Are Other Medical Expenses Managed?

It is rare that all of a person’s medical expenses will be completely covered by insurance. Typically, insurance companies pay for a portion of your healthcare services while you are responsible for the remainder of the cost. These costs can add up quickly, which is why it is important to denote how you will allocate those costs for your child in your parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court has the discretion to order either or both of you to pay for medical expenses beyond insurance coverage, dental care, orthodontic care, and vision care.

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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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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton child support lawyerIn today’s job market, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have education beyond a high school diploma. Regardless of whether that means attending a trade school or earning a degree, the price of higher education continues to increase as a direct result of supply and demand economics. Not only do parents feel the pressure to ensure the best life for their children, but Illinois also puts additional pressure on parents to cover this demand by ordering parents to pay for undergraduate education.

The requirement leaves many divorced Illinois parents wondering, who is ultimately responsible for the bill?

Your Divorce Occurred in the Past

If your divorce occurred years ago when college planning was the last thing on your mind, it is not unusual to require a modification of terms. First, review the original divorce decree to see if it included any stipulations regarding higher education. This step must be completed well before the child begins schooling or acquires any education expenses. If the issue was on reserve to review at a later date, failing to discuss the decree until after cost accumulation may result in a denial of assistance for the current expenses.

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