During a divorce, the court often grants one spouse primary physical possession of the children of the marriage. This means that one of the parents also will have more direct responsibility to the children.

Normally, the parent who does not have physical possession of their children will pay child support to the other parent to help cover the costs of raising the children. There are various factors that the court will take into consideration when setting the amount of child support to be paid. Contact a dedicated lawyer to learn more about these factors.

Determining the Amount of Child Support

Beginning in July of 2017, Illinois updated the formula used to calculate child support in Illinois divorce cases. Under the current law, the court uses an “income shares” model that weighs the income disparity between parents in its calculation. Under the current model, the court will determine you and your spouse’s net incomes and order each parent to proportionately pay child support for the children. The court may deviate from the formula, which is appropriate in some circumstances. In making the determination, the court will weigh the following factors:

  • How much each parent earned in the past
  • The current income each parent earns
  • What each parent is individually likely to earn in the future

While this may seem like a simple determination, in practice it can be very complex, and you may need strong advocacy to ensure your interests are protected. This can be especially important in the long term, as any child support agreement will remain in place until modified by a future court order and will terminate when your child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later.

Modifications and Back Payments

If you or your spouse experience a substantial change in financial circumstances, for example, an increase or decrease in income, child support can be modified by a court. If you or your spouse become unemployed and can no longer afford to pay support, it can be considered justification for a child support modification as well, provided your unemployment status is not voluntary and not intended to intentionally decrease your child support obligation. Any time your situation changes, you must modify the order because an agreement between you and your spouse outside of court is not enforceable. Nonpayment of child support is a serious issue. Depending on the scenario, a court can punish a failure to pay child support by garnishing wages, seizing assets, imposing a jail sentence, or suspending a driver’s license.

Call a Joliet Area Child Support Attorney Today

If you have a child and are thinking about or actively seeking a divorce, negotiations over child support will almost certainly be part of the divorce process. At our firm, we strive to negotiate amicable divorce settlements on behalf of our clients that are fair and reasonable. Whether you are receiving, paying, or seeking to renegotiate child support, please call a child support lawyer at Reidy Law Office LLC today to see how we can help you.