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DuPage County child support attorneyMany parents do not realize the amount of money it actually takes to raise a child. When child support payments become a part of your monthly expenses, you may find yourself in a financial predicament. Child support is designed to help a child with unmarried or divorced unmarried parents to enjoy the same quality of life that he or she would have with married parents. In Illinois, child support amounts are determined by analyzing each parent’s income, employment, health, and other factors. If you cannot afford your court-ordered child support, read on to learn about what your next steps should be.

Never Stop Child Support Payments Without Notification

Illinois takes child support nonpayment very seriously. If you cannot afford your child support, never simply stop payments. Missing payments or paying only partial amounts can result in significant negative consequences. Parents who fail to pay their support payments in Illinois can have their wages or bank accounts garnished, tax returns intercepted, a lien placed against their property, and their driver’s license suspended or revoked. In severe cases of child support nonpayment, parents can face passport denial and even criminal prosecution. Parents who own $5000 or more in past-due support can also have their name and photograph posted on the “Illinois Deadbeat Parent” website.

File a Request for a Child Support Modification

If you are a parent who cannot afford your current support obligation, your first step should be to notify the person who receives your support. Next, file a “Petition to Modify Support,” with the county court. Modifications to child support obligations are only granted if there is a good reason for the court to change the order.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneyThe image of the traditional American family has evolved from one of a mother, father, and a child or children, to now include the “blended” family. A large portion of families in the United States are part of a blended situation, which means one spouse is either divorced or widowed with children, and has gone on to remarry someone with a similar past. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 1,300 new stepfamilies form each day. This union creates a “his, hers, and ours” situation that was once only seen in TV comedies like “The Brady Bunch.”

Just because this is more common in today’s society does not make the transition any less awkward at first, nor do all tensions easily conclude with a happy ending as seen on TV. Here are a few tips to make your new family work:

Acknowledge the Children's Relationship With Their Other Parent

Although divorce can have a dramatic effect on children, most studies acknowledge children do well post-divorce if both parents continue their parental roles following the separation, regardless of remarriage. Let the child know the new stepparent will not replace their biological parent, but that it is an extension of their current family.

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DuPage County family law attorneyIn the wake of recent political upheavals, it is becoming common to encounter instances when family law questions and concerns acquire an immigration element. Many U.S. citizens hold dual citizenship, or are married to foreign nationals. Their children may also be dual citizens. Given that many issues seem to be unsettled, in terms of the new administration’s policies, it is important to be able to react to ensure your family is protected.

Immigrant Status and Family Law

In theory, immigration law is meant to promote the idea of family unity, but in practice, U.S. immigration law can often separate families of different citizenship. Federal immigration law controls where it exists, but there are many loopholes most often filled by imperfect or inexact state laws that are applied unevenly. For example, a battered spouse may apply under immigration laws to obtain a U visa or status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but it is state family courts and family law that govern domestic violence cases.

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