Child Support: The Legal Process

If you have a child or children, you are required by law to support child until the child reaches the age of majority. The amount of child support you are required to pay must be reviewed and subsequently approved by a court of law. Once a judge approves the amount of child support obligation the non-custodial parent owes, the judge will put that amount into a judicial order. This judicial order is recorded and the determined amount must be paid. If a non-custodial parent fails to pay his or her child support obligation, he or she may be held in civil contempt, where he or she can be arrested until he or she “purges,” or pays, a specified amount of past due support.

Illinois’ Rules for Modifying Child Support

As stated above, Illinois requires a non-custodial parent to support his or her children until the age of majority. Illinois defines the age of majority as a child reaching the age of 18, or the age of 19 with proof that child is still enrolled in high school. However, in some circumstances a child support obligation may continue after a child has reached the age of majority, or the parents may be required to pay for their child’s college education.

Of course, certain factors can change and issues may arise during those 18-plus years in which parents must support their children. For example, parents can lose their jobs or get promotions, they can have more children, they can be seriously injured and have extreme medical expenses, or parents can even go to jail. If any of these events occur, it can affect the amount of the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.

In Illinois, in order to modify the amount of child support obligation the non-custodial parent owes, one party must file a motion with the court to modify support. This process entails specific requirements that must be fulfilled in order to successfully modify the obligation. The process can be difficult, confusing, and frustrating in a time when finances may already be stretched.

Will an Attorney Really Be Able to Help?

The child support process is a long, emotionally trying, and economically frustrating process for all parties involved. Whether you have custody of your child and you are not receiving child support payments or you are a non-custodial parent against whom you have a child support obligation, an attorney can help you.

If you are either paying or receiving child support, protect your rights by contacting an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at Abear Law Offices. We have experience helping clients through divorce and with the process of modifying a child support obligation. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.