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Why You Need a Child Support Order

Child support order concept, for when seeking a good divorce attorney with experience with child custody cases in Chicago

Children benefit from having both parents play an active role in their lives. This includes providing for their financial support. While some unmarried or divorced parents may have been able to reach verbal agreements regarding these matters, it is still a smart idea to have a formal child support order in place. In addition to ensuring a fair distribution of the costs associated with raising your child, it also gives you a means of enforcement in the event of unexpected circumstances which cause the other parent not to pay.

Child Support Orders in Illinois

Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/505), parents have a legal duty to provide for their children. In cases involving a divorce, these matters will likely be dealt with as part of a parenting plan. In cases involving single parents, an order for child support may be initiated in paternity proceedings, through a petition filed by your lawyer.

In some cases, often in situations in which the parents part ways on fairly amicable terms, child support may not be mandated through the courts. The parents may rely on more informal agreements, based on an estimate of expenses and what each party is willing to pay. There are two basic problems with this:

  • Your agreement may not adequately assess the total costs involved in raising the child. This includes housing, food, clothing, and personal needs, along with health care, educational costs, recreational activities, and other special needs your child may have.
  • With an informal agreement, there are no legal means for enforcement. As a result, the paying parent may be chronically late with child support payments or may even skip payments for weeks or months at a time.  

Enforcing Child Support

When a court order regarding child support is in place, parents who fail to pay can be held accountable. By law, the Illinois Attorney General has the right to prosecute so-called ‘deadbeat’ parents, forcing them to pay back amounts owed.

Close to $300,000 million in delinquent child support payments are collected in this manner each year. This may involve garnishing wages, places liens on bank accounts, or withholding tax refunds and lottery winnings. In the event a parent continues to refuse to pay, they can face serious punishments, which includes the loss of their driver’s license and a possible jail sentence.

Our Chicago Child Support Lawyers are Here to Help You

The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group knows how important regular child support payments are in providing for your child’s need. To discuss how we can help you get the amount you are entitled to, contact our Chicago child support lawyers and request a consultation today.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.