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modification, Kane County family lawyersIt is no secret how difficult it can be to provide for your child following a divorce or breakup. No matter how good your intentions may be, raising a child costs money: money for a place to live, money to buy food and clothes, money for phone, gas and electric bills, money for doctors’ visits, and other elements of daily living. Child support orders are used to help hold both parents accountable for meeting the child’s needs, generally requiring one parent to make regular payments to help share the financial burden. Over time, however, the child’s needs and the parents’ economic situations may change, and an order for child support may need to change with them.

Calculating Support

The most basic calculations for determining child support payments in Illinois are made in accordance with a statutory formula that considers the supporting parent’s net income and the number of children to be supported. The expected payment would be a percentage of the parent’s net income, though the actually-ordered payment may be increased or decreased at the discretion of the court. These changes may only be made upon careful consideration of the family’s circumstances, including the educational, medical, or other needs of the child, and extenuating economic concerns related to the parents.

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Posted on in Child Support

educational expenses, college costs, Kane County family law attorneysThe law in Illinois has long permitted a court to order one or both parents to contribute toward their child’s educational expenses, even after the child has turned 18 and graduated from high school. Prior to 2016, however, the statute was rather permissive, and granted the court wide discretion in creating orders for educational expense contributions. Thanks to changes that went into effect January 1, 2016, the law now contains more restrictive language regarding such awards and specific criteria for their termination.

College Preparation

The updated provisions allow the court to require one or both parents to assist the child with certain elements of preparing for post-high school education, even without entering an order for support. Specifically, one or both parents and the child may be compelled to complete federal financial aid forms and applications and to submit them in accordance with appropriate deadlines. Either or both parents may also be required to cover the costs of up to five college applications, two standardized college entrance exams, including the SAT or ACT, and one exam prep course.

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Posted on in Child Support

disability, non-minor support, Illinois family law attorneysIf you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, you most likely recognize the importance of financially supporting your child. No matter what drove you and the other parent apart—if you were ever really together—you have a responsibility to provide for the child. While the state cannot legislate your moral obligations in participating in your child’s life, it can enforce your financial obligations. In most cases, your child support requirements will end once your child turns 18 and graduates high school, but if your child suffers from a disability, your situation could be dramatically different.

Defining Disabled

According to Illinois law, a disabled person is one whose physical or mental impairment “substantially limits a major life activity.” Such impairments may include physical handicaps, psychiatric conditions, developmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and any other condition that could have a direct impact on the individual’s ability to care for himself or herself.

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