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IL divorce lawyerDivorcing spouses must agree to a compromise on many complex problems before a divorce can be finalized. This is especially true when spouses are parents of children under 18. Parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support are some of the most contentious issues and it can be difficult to know what to expect.

Child support is often the most predictable part of divorce, but for parents involved in a high net worth divorce, this is often not the case. Although Illinois generally sets child support amounts according to a standard formula, wealthy parents may see a deviation in child support payments. If you are involved in a high-asset divorce and are concerned that your or your spouse’s income may make child support difficult to determine, read on.

Illinois Child Support Guidelines

Most states have guidelines for determining child support, and Illinois is no exception. Both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their child, and child support payments are usually set by combining both parents’ net income and setting monthly payments according to which parent earns more money and which parent has the majority parenting time.


IL family lawyerIf you are a parent who is divorced or never married, you know how impossible it can feel to afford a decent standard of living for yourself and your child without any financial support from your child’s other parent. The rising cost of living and inflation in Illinois can make paying for food, shelter, clothing, and educational costs very difficult.

Child support orders are an important legal tool for getting the financial help you need. However, it can take some time between when a parent asks for child support and when a child support order is put in place. When this happens, Illinois courts can award child support retroactively to cover the period between when the child support request was filed and when child support payments began.

Establishing Paternity and Child Support

Establishing paternity is especially important for parents who have never been married because Illinois cannot order a man to pay child support if he is not the child’s legal father. Mothers who need child support may want to involve the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to get help establishing paternity. Paternity can also be established through a court order.


IL family lawyerMany things keep parents of young children awake at night, but few worries are more stressful than the fear of being unable to financially provide. Unfortunately, many parents are worried about money because their child’s other parent refuses to make court-ordered child support payments. If you are in this situation, you know how frustrating it can be; fortunately, there are strategies that can help you recover unpaid child support and get future payments back on track.

Make Sure Your Child Support Order is Enforceable

Many parents who have never been married set up an unofficial arrangement for child support payments. Although this may seem easier than going to court, it actually can result in more complex challenges later on if a parent decides to stop paying. Before you can take measures to get unpaid child support, you have to have a legally enforceable court order. This involves establishing paternity if you have not already done so, and then going to an Illinois family court to petition for child support based on state guidelines.

Get the State Involved

If you have a legally enforceable court order for child support, you can ask the state and federal government to help you get paid. Illinois can restrict a non-paying parent’s driver’s license, suspend professional licenses, submit the failure to pay child support to credit reporting agencies, and even bring criminal charges. Both the Illinois Department of Revenue and the federal Internal Revenue Service allow money to be withheld from tax returns when child support is unpaid.


IL divorce lawyerAutism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause difficulty with communication, socialization, and behavior. The condition ranges from extremely mild to severe. Some people with autism are unable to speak or take care of themselves. Others can handle everyday tasks but need assistance with more complex responsibilities.

As a parent of an autistic child, you may face significant child-related costs. Your child may need specialized education or childcare. He or she may participate in early intervention treatment services such as behavioral therapy or speech therapy. Some parents of children with autism forgo a career and stay home to care for their child full time. Expenses can quickly add up, and these costs do not disappear once the child turns 18. Fortunately, Illinois law provides a way for parents of children with disabilities to receive child support even after the child is an adult.

Financial Assistance for Divorced and Unmarried Parents with an Autistic Child

Unmarried and divorced parents in Illinois are often subject to a child support order. Typically, child support ends when a child graduates high school or college and becomes financially independent. However, a child with autism may not achieve the same level of independence during adulthood as neurotypical children. Illinois parents in this situation may be able to extend child support payments.


chicago divorce lawyerThe cost of college tuition continues to rise in the U.S. In fact, for the 2020-2021 school year, the average cost of tuition and fees was $41,411 for private colleges, $11,171 for state residents at public colleges, and $26,809 for out-of-state students at state schools. Parents who are getting a divorce may want to learn about who will be responsible for these costs when their child goes off to college. If you and your child’s other parent disagree about who will pay for college expenses, a skilled divorce lawyer can help.

Illinois Divorce Laws for College Tuition

In Illinois, divorced parents may be required to pay for their child’s college tuition. Parents may be required to contribute to their child’s:

  • Tuition, room, and board

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