illinois child support lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they will need to address multiple types of financial issues, and child support is an area that will most likely be a significant concern. While parents will want to ensure that their children’s needs will be provided for, they will also need to make sure they will have the financial resources to meet their own needs. By understanding the procedures used to calculate child support payments and working with an attorney who can advocate for their rights and financial interests, parents can make sure this issue will be addressed properly.

Guidelines for Calculating Child Support

The method used to determine an appropriate amount of child support has changed in recent years to address the fact that in most families, both parents work outside the home and earn income used to support themselves and their children. Currently, the guidelines for determining child support provided in Illinois’ laws take the income earned by both parents into account.

To calculate child support, each parent’s monthly net income must first be determined by taking their gross income and subtracting any allowed deductions. Deductions often include taxes, union dues, and child support or spousal support obligations a previous marriage or relationship. The parents’ net incomes are then added together, and this amount is used to determine the proper child support obligation. A table known as a “schedule of basic child support obligations” will provide the amount of support that would be appropriate for the number of children the couple has together.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer for college expensesWhen married parents choose to split up, child support is one of the primary issues they will need to address. Those with younger children will likely be focused on making sure child support will address daily needs, such as providing children with food, shelter, and clothing. However, parents of teenagers may be looking at what will happen as their children grow up and leave home. Parents will usually want to make sure their children can receive the education they need to pursue opportunities in their chosen career. Because of this, divorcing parents will need to consider how they will contribute to their children’s college expenses.

Non-Minor Support in Illinois

While child support is paid until a child graduates from high school or turns 18 (whichever happens later), divorced parents in Illinois also have the obligation to help their children pay educational expenses when attending college. When creating a divorce settlement, parents may agree on how much they will each contribute, or the court may order either or both parents to pay a certain amount based on the incomes they earn and the property they own. When determining an appropriate amount, the court may also consider the financial resources available to the child, such as college savings accounts or financial aid.

Non-minor support for educational expenses may include:

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IL divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce in Illinois will require all marital property to be accurately classified and divided according to the theory of equitable distribution. Yet certain types of property can pose complications, and it can be necessary to take additional steps to determine how particular assets should be classified and valued. Indeed, dividing valuable and unique collections in a divorce can result in complexities that may require assistance from expert appraisers in addition to in-depth investigations to determine whether the property should be classified as a separate or marital asset. Valuable and unique collections can range from art and rare book collections to antique jewelry and furniture in the couple’s home.

Our DuPage County property division attorneys want to provide you with some of the information you will need as you consider the divorce process and the division of distinctive collections or collectible assets that may be classified as marital property under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

How Will the Assets Be Classified?

In order for any assets to be divided in a divorce by a DuPage County court, those assets must be classified as marital (as opposed to separate, or non-marital) property. When it comes to items in a valuable collection, one or both spouses might be hesitant to divide the collection, particularly when it has more value as a whole. Accordingly, one of the spouses might attempt to argue that the objects should be classified as separate property and should not be divided in the divorce. To be classified as separate property, one of the following usually must be true of the assets:

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IL family lawyerAny parents who are going through a divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, and share minor children from their marriage should also be thinking about child custody and child support under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). You might already know that, in terms of child support, Illinois follows an “income shares” model for calculating child support. With this model, the court uses a general formula to determine the total child support obligation for both parents, which is then shared based on their individual incomes and other relevant factors. Yet there are a variety of reasons that one or both parents might want the court to deviate from the existing Illinois Child Support Guidelines, and you might be wondering if the court could deviate from the guidelines in your case.

While there are only limited circumstances in which the court is likely to deviate from guidelines in determining the child support obligation as part of a divorce, our Oakbrook Terrace child support attorneys can discuss the likelihood of a deviation occurring in your particular case.

How the Income Shares Child Support Model Works

In order to understand the kinds of situations in which a court might deviate from existing child support guidelines, it is important to understand how the income shares child support model works.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorces in Oakbrook Terrace and throughout DuPage County are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under the IMDMA, you may already know that the only way to get divorced is through a no-fault divorce path. In other words, Illinois no longer recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce. Rather, to obtain a divorce, the party who files a petition for the dissolution of marriage must plead that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and the court must determine that “efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”

How can you show the court that you have met the requirement of irreconcilable differences, and how does this requirement relate to the term “conciliation” as it is used in the IMDMA? Our Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys have more information to help you understand no-fault divorce and the possibility of conciliation.

Irrebuttable Presumption That Irreconcilable Differences Requirement Has Been Met

According to the IMDMA, when spouses have lived separate and apart for at least six months prior to the divorce filing, “there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.” Yet even if there is an irrebuttable presumption that this requirement has been met to allow for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, how can you show the court that efforts at reconciliation have failed and that further attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of your family? And can your attempts to get a divorce be thwarted if your spouse insists that she or he does not want to get divorced and that the marriage can be saved?

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