58 North Chicago Street, Suite 404, Joliet, IL 60432

Call Us815-885-5980

Reeder & Brown, P.C.

Joliet parenting time lawyerWhen parents divorce, children will likely share time between the two parents. To avoid having the important decisions related to your children decided by a judge, you and your spouse are encouraged to work together to negotiate a parenting plan, also known as the allocation of parental responsibilities. In addition to deciding how important decisions regarding the children will be made, the plan will also include a parenting time schedule. This schedule will allocate when each parent has physical care of the children, during which time they have the sole responsibility to make routine daily decisions as well as emergency decisions about the children’s health and safety.

Parenting Time Schedule Tips for Illinois Families

When negotiating the parenting time schedule with your spouse, it can be difficult to put the difficulties of the divorce behind you and cooperate. However, it is helpful to take a step back and remember that the schedule should be set up to help your children succeed in their new living environment.

Here are a few aspects to consider when planning a parenting schedule:

...

Joliet spousal support lawyersDuring an Illinois divorce, the spouses may agree on, or the court may order the payment of spousal support payments, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, from one party to another. These payments are to ensure that the receiving party is financially secure after the divorce is finalized. The amount and length of the payments are based on several factors, including income, length of the marriage, the receiving spouse’s education and training, any impairment to their becoming self-sufficient, and other factors. However, future modifications to the payments are possible.

Changes in Income, Marital Status, and Health Could All Qualify

Once the payment amount and length are set, life goes on and changes can and will happen to both parties. There are several factors that can qualify for a modification to these payments. 

These include:

...

Joliet child support lawyerAfter a divorce, it can be tough for a single parent to make ends meet. If you have the bulk of parental responsibilities, you could be depending on the money that your ex-spouse has been ordered to pay in child support to provide your family with food, clothing, and other necessities. If those payments suddenly stop, you could be faced with a real financial struggle. Fortunately, you do have different options to enforce the child support order and get the payments moving again.

Three Steps to Take to Get Your Child Support Payments

There are different steps to take, whether payments are coming in sporadically or not at all, to enforce your court-ordered child support. The most common and effective ways are:

  • Reach out to your ex-spouse directly – If you are still on relatively good terms, you can reach out directly to ask about the payments. While they may try to explain why they have been late, remember, the decision to excuse payments is not yours to make since the payments are through a court order. It is best to keep a record of all communications.
  • Contact DCSS – One of the missions of the Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is to help collect payments for child support orders and collect past due payments. However, given the number of cases and a relatively small staff, this route may take a significant amount of time.
  • Call a lawyer – Speaking with an experienced child support lawyer may be your best option to ensure payments start coming in again. We can help take legal action to ensure payments are restarted and any missing payments are repaid. Parents who are not keeping up with child support payments may be subject to wage garnishment, court-ordered payment plans, and liens against their property. Additional punishments against those who have the ability to pay but are still missing court-ordered payments include a suspended driver’s license, community service, fines, and even jail time.

If your ex-spouse’s financial circumstances have changed due to a lost job or drop in wages, they may try to file for a child support modification request to lower the payments they are responsible for. However, this is handled through a separate request and does not excuse any late or missed payments under the current court order.

...

Joliet uncontested divorce lawyerFor some couples who are ending their marriage on mutual terms, the divorce process can proceed in a more collaborative manner. You both may agree that it is time to end your marriage, and largely agree on how to divide your assets and responsibilities. This is certainly not the case in many divorces, but for those couples who do, an uncontested divorce may be an option.

Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

Even in an uncontested divorce, a couple must come to a resolution on many key issues, including dividing their marital property and whether one spouse will provide spousal support or alimony to the other. Marital property commonly divided in a divorce can include large assets including retirement savings and the marital home. If the couple has children, they additionally must address the allocation of parental responsibilities, how parenting time will be divided, and how child support payments will be made and at what amount. These do not all have to be decided before you start the process, but it helps when there are no major points of contention.

Here are some benefits to an uncontested divorce:

...

Will County family law attorneyLosing your job or having your salary cut can present you with several financial challenges. If you have been through a divorce and are providing child support, you may be wondering how you will keep your required payments going. When tough times hit, you do have the option to modify your monthly payments to keep providing for your children while adjusting to your new situation. Working with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you through the modification process is helpful.

Child Support Payment Calculations in Illinois

After a divorce, both parents are responsible for providing for their children. This includes their basic needs like food, housing, health, clothing, and education. During the divorce process, formulas are used to calculate how much each spouse should be providing for child support. The level for each parent is determined by combining their total net income and allocating an equitable share to each parent. While they are primarily based on each spouse’s income at the time, they also consider the allocation of parental responsibilities, the number of children, the previous standard of living before the divorce, and the needs of the children. The parent who spends more time and money caring for the children, known as the custodial parent, will typically receive monthly payments from the non-custodial parent.

Seeking a Child Support Modification

Illinois law allows child support payments to be modified when either spouse has a significant change in income. This includes the loss of a job or an involuntary reduction in salary. You will have to certify your new income, including unemployment benefits and your monthly expenses, with the court. Based on the new calculations, the court may grant a reduction in your required monthly payments. The new payments can also be applied retroactively based on the date you applied for the modification. However, you must continue making payments at the current level until the modification is approved or risk being fined.

...
ISBA WCBA
Back to Top