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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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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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