Northbrook, IL Child Support Lawyer

Attorney Serving Clients in Chicago's North Shore

Every child is entitled to support from both parents. What often happens is that the child spends the majority of their time with one parent. This parent will typically be the one paying most of the child's expenses. Clothes, toys, food, education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities can become very expensive very quickly on a single parent's budget. Child support can provide the custodial parent with enough money to meet their child's needs and make any other appropriate expenditures on their behalf. As it is the child, not the parent, who has a right to child support, these cases are generally brought on behalf of minor children.

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is experienced in helping parents receive the support their child deserves. If you are shouldering the burden of your child's expenses alone, our attorneys can fight to get your child the money they are entitled to. In some cases, if the other parent has not been paying child support for a long time, you might even be entitled to significant back support payments. An attorney can help you determine what level of support your child should be receiving.

Establishing Paternity First

Is your child's biological father also their legal father? If you were married or recently divorced, the answer is likely yes. If you both signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, the answer is also likely yes. However, if neither of these conditions is met, you might need to establish paternity first.

To do this, you can either use a VAP if the father is cooperative, or you may go to court if he is not. Do not worry if the father seems to be resisting. In court, the judge can order a DNA test that the alleged father must comply with.

Enforcing Child Support

If you have a valid child support order that the other parent is not complying with, you have legal options for enforcing the order. In some cases, the obligor's paycheck can be garnished as a means of forcing them to comply. In other cases, the court may even hold a parent in contempt for willfully failing to pay.

How Illinois Calculates Child Support

Prior to 2017, parents used to pay a certain percentage of their income depending on the number of children they owe support to. Now, the two factors courts consider when calculating child support obligations are the total amount of parenting time each parent has, and the total amount of income both parents earn. The goal is not to deprive a low-earning parent of the ability to support themselves, but rather, to ensure that parents are combining their resources appropriately to care for the child.

Child support orders may also take various child-related expenses into account. Parents may be required to share the costs of medical insurance for children and any other health-related expenses. They may also be required to divide the costs of daycare or other forms of childcare, and both parents may contribute to educational expenses and the costs of extracurricular activities.

Child Support and Divorce

If you and the other parent are getting divorced, child support is likely to be decided at this time. Provisions regarding support will generally be included in your comprehensive parenting plan. In many cases, divorcing parents are able to agree to a parenting plan without court involvement.

Child Support for Same-Sex Parents

In Illinois, a child can have two parents of the same sex. Married or unmarried parents may choose to adopt a child together, or a biological parent's same-sex spouse may be recognized as the child's legal parent based on Illinois' paternity laws. In these cases, either parent can be ordered to pay child support just as they would if the child was biologically theirs.

Contact a North Shore Child Support Lawyer

If your child is not receiving the support they are entitled to, Sucharski Law Firm LLC can step in and help. Our experienced Cook County North Shore child support attorneys will fight to get your child the full amount of support they are eligible for. Contact us at 224-276-6776 for a complimentary consultation.

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