Pesce Law Group, P.C.


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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:


b2ap3_thumbnail_prison-jail-cells-corridor-correctional-facility.jpgChildren across the United States have a parent who is in jail or prison. When a parent who is unmarried or divorced is convicted of a crime, there may be implications for child custody and child support. Illinois family courts always make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. If the parent has been arrested for a domestic violence-related crime, it is possible that they will not be awarded any parental responsibility or parenting time or that their parental responsibility will be reduced.

Parenting Time and Allocation of Parental Responsibility Orders

There are many different things which can happen when a parent of a child is incarcerated. If the parent required to serve time is the parent with the majority of parental responsibility, sometimes called the custodial parent, then the most immediate concern is who the child will live with. If the other parent is involved in the life of the child and is not found to be unfit, they will likely be able to assume the main parenting role. If the child’s other parent is unable to fulfill this role, however, the child may be placed with a relative or guardian. Such a change may require modifying the existing parenting time and responsibility allocation arrangement through the court.

Sometimes, Illinois courts will enlist the help of a guardian ad litem or child representative in child custody cases. These court-appointed attorneys have the power to act as the child’s advocate. They may meet with various family members or potential guardians in order to help determine the course of action that is in the child’s best interests.

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