Family law cases can be contentious due to the emotional nature of the dispute. This is especially common in cases that involve children. In fact, child support matters are notorious for often causing a great deal of strife between the two parents. Furthermore, whenever money and children are involved, cases can also become complicated. Calculating child support is a complex process, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney when facing a support dispute.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
There are two main factors that go into a child support calculation: the non-custodial parent’s gross annual income and how many minor children they financially support. This calculation depends on the custodial arrangement in the case. In most cases, there is a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent. The child primarily lives with the custodial parent, and may spend some time with the non-custodial parent. Generally, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. These payments are usually made via the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, an agency within the Illinois Department of Child Support Services.
After the non-custodial parent is identified, the support calculations begin. The percentage of parental income that goes towards child support depends on the number of children the non-custodial parent supports. For example, if they are responsible for one child, then at least 20% of their net income can be used for child support. With two children, that percentage increases to 28%.
Modifying Child Support
As children grow older and life circumstances change, there may be a need for a parent’s child support obligation to change as well. There are certain criteria that must be met before a support obligation is modified. Most child support cases can be reviewed every three years to determine if payment amounts should change. During these reviews, the non-custodial parent must prove that they have experienced a significant change in their income. Alternatively, the parent must prove that the child’s needs have substantially changed. When the non-custodial parent asks the court to revise child support, the custodial parent has a right to contest changing the payments. They must show the non-custodial parent’s ability to continue paying.
What if a Parent Stops Paying Support?
Child support payments not only satisfy a parent’s legal obligation to their children, but these payments also provide actual and necessary care for the child. So, when a parent stops paying support, it can be a huge problem for both the custodial parent and the child. If a parent stops paying, the other parent can ask the court to enforce the support order. In some cases, the custodial parent can ask the court to garnish the non-paying parent’s wages. Sometimes, the state may even pursue criminal charges against a parent who knowingly and intentionally withholds child support.
Naperville Child Support Lawyers
Are you facing a child support dispute? Are you required to make support payments but are unable to due to a substantial decrease in income? If so, contact our experienced family law attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. now for a free initial consultation and to discuss your case. Call our Naperville firm at 630-961-0060 and schedule your consultation now.