Child Support / Support & College Costs

Child Support Lawyers – Joliet, IL

Child support is not meant to penalize a parent who is separated from the other parent. It is meant to maintain a reasonable standard of living for their child. A claim for child support can be brought as part of a Paternity, Divorce, or Non-Support Action. Child support exists until a child is emancipated. This is often defined as the latter event of a child turning 18 or graduating from high school.

In July 2017, Illinois changed the child support laws. Prior to July 2017, Illinois used a percentage based approach.

In July 2017, Illinois introduced an income-shares model. The formula considers many factors including, each party’s income, the number of children the parties have, the appropriate taxes that each party is paying, any health insurance costs that are paid on behalf of the minor children, any child support paid on behalf of children from a different marriage or relationship, any spousal support whether paid to the other parent or a different relationship, and the number of overnights that each parent spends with the child. This process can be extremely complicated. It is important to have an experienced attorney calculate support to ensure that the calculations are correct.

Beyond child support, it is common for parents to be ordered to contribute to other expenses of their minor children, including, health insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses, school registration expenses, agreed upon extra-curricular expenses and childcare expenses.

Child Support from Business Owners

For many business owners or self-employed individuals calculating their income can be a challenge as it varies. Currently Illinois law provides that income is calculated by subtracting ordinary and necessary expenses required to maintain the business from the gross receipts. Any business expenses that the court finds to be inappropriate or excessive are excluded from the ordinary and necessary expenses. Any reimbursements from a business such as a company car, reimbursed meals, fee housing are counted in income if the amount is significant.

Child Support Modification

Child support is not fixed. It can be changed or modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Sometimes the parent paying support could have an increase in their income justifying an increase in the amount of child support paid. Other times a parent could have a loss of employment and need a decrease in child support while they get back on their feet. Sometimes one of the parties fraudulently applies for a modification of their child support. They may have quit their job or used other nefarious means to reduce their income. Once exposed, the court does not take too kindly to this type of deception. A parent who voluntarily reduces their income typically has their higher income imputed or assigned to them.

Child Support Enforcement

Unfortunately, not all parents are willing to provide court ordered support for their children. Sometimes these parents refuse to pay child support and other related expenses for their children despite the court ordering these parents to pay. A skilled attorney like the attorneys from Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation Center can litigate these cases and hold these parents responsible.

Child Support Beyond Emancipation & College / Education Contribution

Support for Disabled Children

In a divorce or paternity action where there is a disabled child, support for that child can extend beyond emancipation. A disabled child is an individual who has a major physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major activity, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.

There is no set formula to determine how what the appropriate amount of support is for a disabled child. To determine the appropriate amount of support, the court reviews the (1) present and future financial resources of both parties to meet their needs, including but not limited to, savings for retirement; (2) the standard of living the child supplied have enjoyed has the marriage not been dissolved; (3) the financial resources of the child: (4) the financial or other resources provided for the child, including Supplemental Security Income, any home-based support provided and any other financial benefit provided to the non-minor disabled child.

College Contribution

Parents in Illinois can be ordered to help their children pay for College or other educational pursuits. Parents can be required to contribute to the educational expenses of their adult children through age 23. In rare cases, the court can order parents to contribute beyond age 23 until age 25 when the child cannot complete their education due to a health or other legitimate concern.

Under the umbrella of college contribution, the court can order that the parents become involved in the pre-admission process by applying completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and contributing to the cost of standardized tests and predatory course.

Once in Post-Secondary Education, the court can order that both parents contribute to the Educational Expenses of their child, including: tuition, fees, housing expenses whether on campus or off-campus, the medical expenses of the child, including health insurance, living expenses during periods when school is in session and in recess; and books and supplies. Generally, the parent’s contribution is limited to the cost of attendance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The amount that each party is ordered to contribute is based upon a number of factors such as the present and future financial resources of both parties to meet their needs, including savings for retirement; the standard of living the child would have enjoyed has the marriage or relationship not been dissolved; the financial resources of the child and the child’s academic performance.

Generally in cases where a child’s parents are ordered to contribute to their education, the child must allow the parent access to all school records and maintain a C average.

The family law attorneys at Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation have extensive experience in all aspects of child support issues including child support modifications, child support enforcement, college contribution and child support for disabled adult children. Please contact us today so that we can evaluate your case.

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