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Naperville child support attorneysIf you are going through a divorce, the court will usually factor health care costs into the child support order they issue. This could significantly alter the amount of regular child support payments depending on what your and your spouse’s insurance offers. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) outlines exactly how a court will calculate a child support order, so it is important to learn more about how this legislation could affect your divorce order by discussing your case with a divorce attorney. 

Child Support and Providing for Health Care Costs in Illinois

Basic child support requirements already should include ordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. Also, the court may decide to require one or both spouses to ensure that their health insurance coverage covers their child, that they purchase health/dental/or vision policies to cover their child, or that they use alternative solutions to cover their child’s present and future medical needs. While child support orders typically require one spouse to make regular payments to help the other spouse provide for their child, the court may also encourage one or both spouses to pitch in to meet any medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, like office or pharmacy copays.

In some cases, the divorcing spouses may not have the financial resources and opportunities to provide private health care coverage for their child. If this is the case, a court may require that one or both parents purchase insurance coverage as soon as the cost is reasonable given the spouses’ circumstances, or the court can order the ex-spouses to file for public health care coverage for their child and split any remaining costs. 

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DuPage County family law attorneysFor many individuals, it takes a divorce to highlight just how financially dependent a person may be on his or her spouse. This, of course, may be all the more true if you are also trying to raise children. It is for exactly such reasons that the divorce laws in Illinois include provisions for spousal maintenance and child support. These orders are issued, when appropriate, by the court to distribute the financial burden more equitably between you and your ex-spouse. But, what would happen if your ex-spouse was no longer around to provide support for you or your children? Would you be able to get by? If the answer is no, you may want to speak with family law attorney about including life insurance requirements in your divorce agreement.

Why Life Insurance?

A life insurance policy is designed to pay financial benefits to the named beneficiaries of a insured individual upon the insured person’s death. These funds are often used to cover funeral costs, pay down debts, or to simply maintain a similar lifestyle. Married individuals will commonly name their spouse as the primary beneficiary to help provide a level of security in the event of their death.

Reliance on Your Ex-Spouse

It may not be easy to admit, but if you are seeking spousal maintenance or child support, you are still financially dependent, to at least a certain extent, on your former partner. Your reliance may not be as strong as it once was during your marriage, but you likely count on his or her help to provide for your most basic needs and those of your children. If he or she were to die suddenly, you could face tremendous difficulty as a result of the support payment ending.

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DuPage County child support enforcement attorneysIf you are a single parent entitled to child support, you have probably come to rely heavily on these funds. Whether it is child care, groceries, educational or extracurricular activities, or other costs, raising a child is expensive. When a parent does not receive his or her child support, it can be hard to make ends meet. Furthermore, child support orders are legally binding court orders. A parent cannot simply choose to stop payments. If a parent fails to meet his or her child support obligation, he or she can be charged with contempt of court and face other serious consequences.

Enforcing a Child Support Order

In order for a child support arrangement to be enforceable, it must be officially ordered by the court. If you and your child’s other parent had an informal child support arrangement, you will need to take the steps to establish a formal child support order. If the legal paternity of your child has not been established and you want to collect child support from your child’s father, you will need to establish paternity before you can collect child support.

Court-mandated child support payments are not optional. If your child’s other parent is not paying court-ordered support, you have two basic options. You may contact the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) and initiate an enforcement action through this agency or you may enforce the child support order through the Illinois court system. The latter option may help you receive a favorable outcome more quickly than going through the DCSS, but the option you choose will be based on your unique situation and needs.

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Naperville family law attorneysIllinois law requires parents to financially contribute to their child’s upbringing. In the case of unmarried or divorced parents, this most often involves child support payments. Typically, child support payments are terminated when a child reaches eighteen years of age and is therefore legally an adult. The now-adult child is expected to start taking responsibility for himself or herself and make his or her own money. However, if the child suffers from a disability, he or she may be unable to do so. In situations like these, child support payments may be extended past the typical time period.

Disabilities That Qualify for Extended Child Support

Both mental and physical disabilities can qualify a person for child support after he is an adult. Section 513.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) states that when an individual’s mental or physical impairment “substantially limits a major life activity,” he or she is considered to be disabled. These impairments may include psychiatric conditions, developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and physical handicaps. Any impairment that directly affects the child’s ability to perform daily living tasks may qualify the child for extended child support.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts

In order for a child to remain eligible for child support as an adult, the disability must have been diagnosed by a medical professional or otherwise discovered while the child was eligible for regular child support. The court may determine that one or both parents are obligated to continue financially supporting the disabled adult. Decisions about child support for a disabled adult are made with consideration to:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_prison-jail-cells-corridor-correctional-facility_20200121-024905_1.jpgFor many divorced and unmarried parents, money is tight. If you are a single parent, you probably have many financial obligations including housing costs, childcare expenses, school-related expenditures, and more. If you receive child support from your child’s other parent, you may depend upon these payments heavily. If something were to happen and you no longer received child support, you would be in serious trouble. These are the concerns that many parents have when they learn that their child’s other parent has been incarcerated.

Parents Are Still Expected to Pay Child Support Even While Incarcerated

If your child’s other parent has been arrested and charged with a crime, he or she may be spending time in jail or prison. However, this does not mean that he or she is automatically relieved of child support obligations. When a person is incarcerated, the court still expects him or her to continue paying child support. However, the incarcerated parent does have the option to petition the court for a temporary child support modification. The court may grant this modification if the parent can prove that he or she genuinely needs it. For example, if the incarcerated parent cannot participate in a work release program and has no income, the court may allow him or her to temporarily stop making child support payments. Once the parent is released from jail, he or she must pay the past due amount.

Other Sources of Income During Incarceration

When an incarcerated parent is not making money from traditional work, this does not mean that he or she has no means to pay child support. The court may require an incarcerated parent to pay child support through other means. Child support payments may be taken from:

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