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What Should I Do if I Am Struggling to Pay Child Support?

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles divorce attorney child support

When a child’s parents are divorced or unmarried, child support is an important means of ensuring that the child’s needs are provided for financially. However, it is not always easy for a paying parent to fulfill his or her obligations, especially in the midst of financial hardship. If you are struggling to pay court-ordered child support for whatever reason, an attorney can help you explore your options and pursue the one that best meets your needs.

Child Support Obligations in Illinois

Since July 2017, basic child support obligations in Illinois have been calculated based on a proportional share of the two parents’ combined net incomes. This often helps to ensure that both parents are treated fairly and that child support obligations do not create an undue financial burden on either party. That said, you may still find it challenging to fulfill your obligation in the months and years following the initial court order.

If your challenge is one of money management, it may be helpful to take the time to create a monthly budget to ensure that you set aside the funds necessary to pay child support. It could also help to consider a different method of making payments, such as income withholding or recurring online payments, that do not require as much attention on your part.

Modifications to Child Support

On the other hand, if your difficulty in making payments is due to a significant change in your financial situation since the initial support order, such as a pay cut, the loss of your job, a decrease in your earning capacity, or an increase in your own financial needs, you may be able to petition the court for a modification of the order. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to make the case for a payment obligation that better reflects your current circumstances.

While your petition for modification is pending, you should make every effort to continue following the terms of the original agreement. Failing to do so can mean that you are in contempt of court, and the other parent may choose to file a petition for enforcement. If you are the subject of an enforcement petition, your attorney can help you protect your rights and work to resolve the situation so that you may avoid further consequences.

Contact a St. Charles Child Support Lawyer

At the distinguished law firm of Weiler and Lengle PC, we understand that your financial situation can sometimes get in the way of your best efforts to provide for your children, and we are prepared to assist with any legal issues that arise when you are struggling to pay child support. Contact our compassionate Kane County family law attorneys today at 630-382-8050 to learn more about the legal options available to you.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K505.htm

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs8189.aspx

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

 

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