Indirect Direct Illinois Child Support Payments

Wheaton Child Support Lawyers

One of the greatest and most obvious concerns newly divorced parents have is in regards to their children. Divorce proceedings can be time-consuming, expensive, emotional, and very difficult on a family. Regardless of whether you are the custodial parent, you share joint custody with an ex-spouse, or if you only get to see your child a few weekends a year, you want the very best for your child. When decisions are being made as to your child’s financial future, it is crucial to take an active role in the proceedings to ensure your child’s security. In Illinois, understanding spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) and child support is a very important step in participating in your divorce proceedings.

Illinois Child Support: Indirect and Direct Payments

The idea behind child support payments is that biological parents owe a duty to support their children. If there are minor children involved in a divorce proceeding, child support will almost certainly be a part of the divorce decree. Generally speaking, child support is paid from a non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. In Illinois, child support will be paid until the child is 18 (or 19 if still in high school). It may extend longer if the child has a disability or for some other reason cannot be self-supported. Even though child support can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, child support payments are generally either made directly or indirectly.

Direct child support payments are made directly to the custodial parent. They are usually court-ordered to be paid in certain increments and in a certain manner; it may be every week, or every month, may be paid directly via check or via direct deposit, depending on the needs of the parties involved. Consequently, indirect payments occur when non-custodial parents make payments to third parties providing tuition, lessons, or healthcare expenses.

Illinois law does not necessarily favor or disfavor a particular type of child support payment. The law, however, is very clear about the amounts that must be paid and also provides parameters about the types of costs that may be considered reasonable. Following an update to the Illinois child support law, which took effect in July 2017, child support calculations will be based on both parents’ net incomes, while also taking the parents’ respective amounts of parenting time and parental responsibility into account. The costs focus on the best interest of the child, and according to Illinois law, may deviate from these guidelines while considering financial resources, standard of living, educational needs, etc.

Whether child support payments should be direct or indirect depends on the unique situations surrounding the divorce and whether you are the spouse receiving or the spouse making the payments. If you are the parent that is receiving the payments, it is critical to consider the possible positive and negative effects. You may want your ex-spouse to pay direct support so that you can determine how the resources are allocated for you child. On the other hand, you may want your ex-spouse to bear the burden of the possibility of expenses increasing in the future (tuition, bills, etc.).

Consequently, if you are the ex-spouse making payments, you may want to consider the flip side: you may become responsible if third-party payments are not timely made if you are doing indirect payments. Direct payments may help you avoid bearing the costs of increases. Clearly there are positive and negatives to either side, and the best approach is to try to reach a compromise with your ex-spouse so as to avoid a court order that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to change a non-ideal arrangement.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney Today

If you or anyone you know is going through a divorce, the experienced Wheaton family law attorneys at Abear Law Offices can help guide you through the process. We understand that this is an extremely emotional and sensitive time for you, your family, and your children. Whether it be spousal maintenance, child support, or child custody arrangements, we will work with you to navigate the proceedings. Serving the greater DuPage County and Wheaton, IL communities, we are always available to hear your story and work with you toward an amicable resolution between you and your ex spouse. Contact us today at 630-904-3033.

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