Many Illinois parents who are separating or going through a divorce will have to deal with the issue of child support. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay support, with the amount being based in part upon state guidelines that take into account a variety of factors. If the parents were never married and the mother wishes support, however, paternity will first need to be established if the father hasn’t acknowledged it.

One of the most important things to remember about child support is that both parents have a legal obligation to support their child, in most cases until the child turns 18. The judge will usually use a statutory formula to calculate child support payments based on the incomes and expenses of both parents. However, the court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines if the parents’ incomes are very high.

Some divorced parents who are on good terms with each other may think that they can work out a child support payment plan personally. This can be a mistake, and parents should always make child support payments through the local child support enforcement office. By using this method, the payer will have a record of meeting the obligation. Additionally, the recipient will have assistance in enforcing the order if payments are not made.

Delinquent payments could be a big problem for the custodial parent, who usually relies on timely receipts as part of the household budget. However, there are times when a parent who has been ordered to pay becomes unable to do so because of an unexpected job loss or illness. In such an event, an attorney can assist the payer in filing a motion for a modification of the order which, if granted, will affect future payments only.