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Kane County child support lawyerWhen a marriage dissolution is finalized, a divorce decree is drafted. A divorce decree is a legally binding document that expresses all decisions made in a divorce arrangement, including custody arrangements, property division, and spousal maintenance. The court enforces a divorce decree, and must be upheld by both parties. However, individuals can make changes within a divorce decree when necessary. 

Requesting Additional Child Support 

It is not uncommon for parents to require more child support after the initial divorce decree is finalized. Lifestyle changes following a separation or divorce can drastically affect a parent’s ability to provide for their children. For example, a mother may have been able to support her children with the child support amount expressed in the divorce arrangement, but she recently finds herself unemployed. In this case, the mother must request more child support from the state. 

When Can I Modify My Divorce Decree?

Divorce agreements are eligible for modifications every three years. The court reviews these modifications to adjust legal documents to best fit a family’s current lifestyle. However, a decree modification can be requested before the three-year mark when there is a significant need for reevaluation.

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Kane County family law attorneyWhile divorce is difficult for most couples, it can be especially challenging for parents who share children. There are many considerations, such as child support payments, custody, and visitation arrangements. However, parents feel blindsided when unexpected expenses pop up after the divorce is finalized. If you and your partner share custody of the children and are equally invested in them financially, emotionally, and physically, extracurricular costs could pop up from time to time. Here is a list of five unexpected expenses parents may have to split following a divorce. 

College Tuition

In Illinois, age 18 deems a child an adult, as long as the child has graduated from high school, meaning parents are no longer required to support them financially. However, like many laws, the end of child support payments comes with a catch. Parents often have to extend child support payments throughout a non-minor child's post-secondary education. Illinois courts require parents to pay for a child's educational wellbeing, including their college tuition and expenses. For example, parents will have to cover the costs of attendance, rent, and essentials for the college child.

Tutoring 

Like college, parents must pay for a child's educational wellbeing. Parents may be asked to provide financial support if a child needs extra help in a particular subject or requires tutoring for standardized testing. When parents share custody and are equally invested in their child's future, child expenses, including tutoring, will be split between parents. 

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IL family lawyerFor unmarried and divorced parents, child support is a vital source of financial assistance. Illinois child support usually ends when the child becomes an adult and finishes high school or college. At this point, the child is considered old enough to provide for his or her own financial needs. However, some children require financial assistance beyond childhood. If your child has a disability, you may be able to get child support even after he or she is an adult.

Child Support for Children With Disabilities

If your child has a disability, he or she may not be able to reach the same level of financial independence as a child without a disability. This can place a major financial burden on the child and the child’s parent. Fortunately, parents of disabled children may be able to extend child support past the typical cut-off point. This can help the parents cover child-related costs such as housing, in-home care, medical costs, and more.

What Counts as a Disability for the Purposes of Non-Minor Child Support?

You may be wondering what types of disabilities qualify a child for extended child support. Per Illinois law, a disabled person is one who has a mental or physical impairment that “substantially limits a major life activity.” You will also need to show that there is a medical record of this disability. Furthermore, the disability must have occurred before the child reached the typical child support cut-off age. Intellectual disabilities like autism, physical disabilities such as blindness, and mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder may all qualify for extended child support.

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Il family lawyerA university education can set up a young person for long-term career success. Unfortunately, college is also increasingly expensive. The average cost of just one year of college education in the U.S. is over $35,000. Out-of-state colleges and private colleges can be even more expensive. If you are a divorced parent or you are considering divorce in the near future, you may wonder how these costs are addressed. Is college included in child support payments? Are divorced parents required to split the cost of a university education? Read on to learn more.

Educational Expenses for a Non-Minor Child

When parents are unmarried or divorced, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other. These payments help the parent with the majority of the parenting time cover housing, education costs, childcare, and other child-related expenses. A parent’s child support obligation typically terminates once the child grows into an adult. However, it is possible for child support to extend past the child’s 18th birthday. In an Illinois divorce, parents have the opportunity to petition the court for non-minor child support to cover college expenses like tuition and housing.

How Much Does Each Parent Pay?

If parents cannot reach an agreement about how to finance their child’s university education, the court may step in and decide for them. The court will consider both parents’ income, property, and overall financial circumstances. The student’s own financial resources, including income from a part-time job, scholarships, and grants, are also factored into the court’s decision. The standard of living established during the marriage and the child’s academic success can also play into the court’s decision.

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st charles child support lawyerAny parent can confirm the fact that having children can get very expensive. Childcare, tuition and other school expenses, and extracurricular fees are just some of the child-related costs parents may encounter.

Many divorced and unmarried parents receive financial assistance from the other parent in the form of child support payments. However, some parents may experience financial difficulties that leave them unable to pay child support. If you or your child’s other parent are currently unemployed or facing another financial hardship, you may wonder how this can influence child support payments. Read on to learn how Illinois courts handle child support when a parent is unemployed and what you should do if you need to modify or enforce your current child support order.

Does a Parent Have to Pay Child Support if They are Unemployed?

A statutory formula determines the amount that a parent pays in child support in Illinois. Both parent’s net incomes are taken into account so that the payment amount is appropriate and reasonably affordable. You  may ask, “If a parent has no income, does that mean that he or she is absolved of his or her child support obligation?” The short answer is no. Unemployment does not automatically terminate or decrease a parent’s child support obligation. However, the parent may be able to reduce his or her child support obligation by successfully petitioning the court for a child support order modification.

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