Family LawyerWhen parents divorce or separate, child support may be ordered to help cover the costs involved in providing for minor children. In the state of Illinois, the amount of child support ordered by the court is determined by a variety of factors including the division of parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, the financial needs of the children, the parents’ income, and the standard of living the children are accustomed to. Although Illinois has taken impressive measures to ensure that children are adequately provided for and that parents are able to contribute the ordered support, the results do not always remain accurate. Unfortunately, the amount of child support ordered can create hardship for the parent who is ordered to pay.

When child support is ordered in Illinois, the courts make every effort to calculate monetary contributions that are a reflection of the needs of the child as well as the financial circumstances surrounding each parent. As time goes on, however, the needs of the children involved typically change, and the financial situations of each of the parents can change as well.

  • Children may no longer need daycare as they grow older
  • Expenses for extracurricular activities might fluctuate
  • Costs for things like diapers and formula may be phased out
  • The division of actual parenting time might be adjusted
  • A decrease in financial resources (job loss, illness, injury, etc.) may affect a parent’s ability to pay ordered support
  • Student loan payments might become due

Once ordered, child support is non-negotiable without further attention from the court, and the parent who is required to pay must submit the ordered amount on time and in full, regardless of other circumstances involved. Since failing to remit child support payments in Illinois could result in a variety of legal repercussions including fines, court costs and even incarceration, parents who are unable to afford the ordered amount should take immediate steps to remedy the problem.

When financial difficulties arise, many parents attempt to make arrangements outside of court in order to avoid legal fees because the thought of hiring even the most affordable family lawyer seems intimidating. Unfortunately, what might seem like a quick, inexpensive solution could make matters worse in the long run. Unless the proper legal measures are taken to address the amount of child support due in court, the parent remains obligated to provide the ordered amount and he or she can still be held liable regardless of an informal agreement.