Child Support

Chicago Child Support Lawyers

If you are divorcing and have children with your spouse or if you were never married but have a child with your partner, the Court will require that a child support order be entered to ensure that a child receives adequate support until he or she becomes emancipated. In 2017, the Illinois legislature revised the child support statute in a dramatic way. Prior to 2017, child support was calculated on a percentage of the parent responsible for paying child support’s net income. The new child support statute bases child support on what is known as an “income sharing” model which takes several factors into consideration; most notably the income of both parents as well as the number of overnights exercised by each parent with the children. Depending on the facts of your case, there is a possibility that a deviation (up or down) from statutory guidelines may be appropriate. The attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn can guide you through the new child support law and ensure that the proper amount of child support is received in your case.

Child Support Modification

The entry of a child support order does not mean that it is final. Child support orders may be modified from time to time based upon a substantial change in circumstances. As children grow, so do their needs. Similarly, a substantial change in one or both parents’ personal or financial situation may require a change to an existing child support order. While child support may be modified, parents will be obligated to support their child until that child graduates high school or turns 18 years old whichever occurs last but in no event past 19 years old.

Once a child support order is entered, it is expected that the parent responsible for payment of support (payor) will comply with the order. Sometimes, a payor will fail to pay support and it will become necessary for you to ask the Court to enforce the support order. Enforcement of existing child support orders is necessary as it ensures that parents are held accountable for their court-ordered obligations. If your ex-partner fails to pay child support, it is important that you do not delay in enforcing the order of support so that your children continue to receive the support they deserve.

Children’s Expenses

In addition to monthly child support, the Court may also enter an order regarding payment of children’s expenses including medical, educational, extra-curricular, and religious. The Court may order each parent to pay a percentage of these expenses.

College Expenses

When it comes to college expenses, the Court may order one or both parents to contribute to the post-secondary (college or trade school) educational expenses of their children. The Court will also consider, among other things, a child’s financial resources (including college savings type accounts) when allocating college expenses.

The timing of filing a petition for contribution to post-education expenses is important. Please contact Hammer Serna & Quinn to discuss how we can help with the filing of a petition for contribution to college expenses.

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