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Child support is one of the most contentious aspects of divorce negotiations. As such, it can be difficult and sometimes even impossible for parents to come to an agreement on their own. That’s where our child support lawyers come in. At Consumer Law Group, our team is highly trained—with lawyers focused on family law matters—and dedicated to showing you the compassion you deserve during this difficult time for your family. With the help of our child support lawyers in Chicago, you can expect:
- Fierce advocacy for fair child support terms that help you preserve your child’s standard of living and meet their every need.
- A highly capable team that is knowledgeable about the intricacies of family law matters and works together to devise a strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
- Assistance from our bilingual team in either English or Spanish, based on whichever language you’re most comfortable conversing in.
Child and Family Law Services
Going through a divorce is never an easy process; however, our lawyers are here to help make the transition as easy as possible for your family by providing attentive legal services that serve your best interests.
What Child Support Covers
Child support is meant to ensure that your child’s standard of living before your divorce is maintained. We will help you establish a child support agreement that covers your child’s needs and maintains their quality of life.
Child support lawyers are there to help you establish and modify your child support agreement. They can help you with all aspects of this complex process, including:
- Evaluating your sources of income and other factors that may impact child support payments
- Negotiating on your behalf to reach a fair child support agreement
- Representing you in court to fight for your child’s right to fair financial support
- Enforcing your child support agreement when the other parent refuses to pay
Our child support lawyers in Chicago can also help you with other aspects of your divorce, including custody agreements, spousal support, and more.
While you are not legally obligated to have a child support attorney help you establish your agreement, it can only help you to do so. Not only can a child support lawyer help in situations where your ex-spouse is unwilling to come to an agreement, but even in situations where you believe you are on the same page.
Although you may be willing to work together, you may not fully understand what should be covered by child support and just how much is a fair compromise. To ensure your child’s needs are met, it’s highly recommended that you have a lawyer assist you with your child support agreement.
The cost of a child support lawyer is dependent on several factors, so it varies from case to case. Some factors that may influence how much you end up paying for a child support lawyer include:
- The number of hours your lawyer ends up dedicated to your space
- Your attorney’s experience—typically extensively trained lawyers with many years in practice have higher fees
- Where you live— attorneys in expensive regions like major cities may cost more because of operational expenses they must cover
That said, at Consumer Law Group, we strive to make hiring a child support attorney affordable for families of all walks of life. If you need help negotiating child support, don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are looking for a child support lawyer in Illinois, the first thing to do is research law firms in your area. You want to find an attorney that you can trust to protect the best interests of you and your children, so be sure to read reviews by past clients. In addition to their reputation, you want to confirm that they have attorneys who focus on family law matters as they will be better equipped to assist with child support and divorce negotiations.
Our child support lawyers in Chicago are highly trained in family law matters and understand the compassionate approach needed when it comes to settling the sensitive issues of divorce.
As soon as you begin the divorce process, it is likely in your best interest to hire a child support attorney. Other instances when you may need to hire a child support lawyer include:
- When you are unable to come to an agreement on the amount of child support that should be paid
- If you lose your job and need your child support payments lowered
- You believe you are entitled to more child support than you are receiving based on a change in circumstances
- Your ex-spouse is refusing to pay their mandated child support payments
- You are trying to recoup back child support
In Illinois, an Income Shares Model is used to calculate child support. This model aims to establish support that provides the child with the same distribution of parental income as they would have received from each parent before the divorce. There are two main components used for calculating child support payments in Illinois; the combined income of both parents and the amount of overnight stays the child spends with each parent.
Other factors that may be considered when calculating child support payments include:
- The number of children who will receive support
- Whether there are other children outside of the marriage to care for
- Who has custody/how much time each parent spends with the children overnight
- Income of each parent
- Whether spousal maintenance is paid/received
- Whether the support-paying parent also pays for childcare or healthcare
Our child support lawyers in Illinois can help you calculate child support payments with the above factors in mind.
Child support is meant to preserve the standard of living a child is used to by covering their basic needs. This could include:
- Educational costs
- Medical care
- Sports/after-school activities
Basic entertainment (activities with friends, computers, trips, etc.) is also often included in child support.
Speak with one of our Chicago child support attorneys today for help navigating the complex rules surrounding child support payments.
If child support isn’t paid, action can be taken against the spouse who is responsible. In some instances, their wages can be garnished in order to extract child support payments directly from their paycheck. They may also be required to pay fines and in more severe circumstances, may even be forced to serve jail time.
There are a few situations where child support payments may not be required:
- The custodial parent waives the right to child support
- You lose parental rights to your child
- Your child is awarded emancipation
- You become the custodial parent (in this case, the other parent may need to start making child support payments to you)
- Your child passes away before the age of 18
If you cannot afford child support payments, you may be able to modify your child support agreement. You will have to put in a request, which we can help with, citing the reason why you cannot pay (among other details). Keep in mind that it is always better to reach out to a child support lawyer to request a modification to your agreement rather than to just stop paying.
Yes, a child support lawyer can help you lower your payments. In order to lower your child support payments, you must have a valid reason (losing your job, disability, having another child to care for, etc.), and a case must be submitted for modification to the child support order. A child support attorney can be instrumental in helping you put forth a convincing argument for why payments should be lower and ensure that the process is completed correctly.
Yes, child support can be temporarily suspended in certain circumstances. A temporary suspension may be granted due to medical circumstances or other temporary situations that may cause you to be unable to pay child support for a short period of time. If you are trying to get your child support suspended temporarily, our child support attorneys can help you request the modification.
You may be able to claim your child as a dependent on your taxes, even if you pay child support. You can only claim your child as a dependent if the custodial parent gives their permission with Form 8332. However, it’s important to note that you cannot take any deductions for child support payments.
In addition to income and custody, there are other factors that may play a role in how much child support must be paid, including:
- Especially high or low income
- Special needs (applicable to children or parents)
- Military service
- Willful unemployment
If paternity is legally established, then yes, you will likely be able to collect child support from the non-custodial parent. In these cases, it may be an uphill battle, but our child support maintenance lawyers can help you fight for your right to financial assistance for raising your child.
While having the non-custodial parent live out of state complicates the child support process, you’re still entitled to collect child support from them. Thanks to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), a state can gain jurisdiction over a non-resident when they owe child support. If your ex-spouse lives or moves out of state, we can help you fight to enforce your child support agreement.
For those in the military, child support obligations may work a bit differently. Military members are expected to provide for their dependents. If your court order has not been finalized, military members may be instructed to pay interim child support. Additionally, if they are not fulfilling the terms of the child support agreement, their commander can implement punishments.
If you or your ex-spouse are military members, it may be best to speak with one of our child support attorneys about your specific circumstances as different branches of the military have their own set of guidelines, and the enforcement of child support can be complex.
Child support is typically meant to help care for minors, meaning that payments stop once they turn 18. However, some circumstances may extend child support payments past this age, including:
- If they are 18, but they are still in high school
- If the child is physically or mentally disabled
- If the child is pursuing higher education (up to a bachelor’s degree)
That said, it is typically determined on a case-by-case basis.
With a large team focusing on various practice areas, we are able to help clients with diverse needs. Consumer Law can assist you with: