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Westmont child support attorneyMost couples enter into marriage thinking it will last “til death do us part.” Although that may have been more common years ago, statistics show that almost half of all marriages in the United States now end in divorce. Once the decision has been made to legally terminate a marriage, there are many issues that need to be resolved, such as asset and property division, spousal maintenance, and child support if a couple had children together. Child support in Illinois is determined based on several factors, and one question parents might have is what will happen if the paying parent falls behind on payments or refuses to pay altogether? Regardless of the reasons why a non-custodial parent may not be paying, he or she may face legal ramifications. 

Parental and Legal Obligations

Every parent is responsible for the emotional and financial well-being of their children, whether they are married, divorced, separated, or were never married. Several laws are in place to make sure children receive what they need to live a healthy and happy life. In most cases, the parent with the majority of the parenting time (the custodial parent) will receive child support payments from the other parent (the non-custodial parent). 

Child support payments are calculated by taking various factors into consideration, such as the income of each spouse, the children’s needs, and a parent’s other financial obligations. Illinois courts now use the “Income Shares” model when determining child support. With this approach, the total amount of child support is calculated based on the combined net income of both parents, and this obligation is divided between the parents according to the percentage of the combined income each parent earns.

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Oak Brook high income divorce lawyerNo matter the reason for the breakdown of your marriage, the divorce process will typically follow the same basic steps. After one spouse files a petition for divorce, the two of you will go through the discovery and negotiation process, and eventually you will reach a settlement, which will be entered in court as your final divorce decree. Though the process is fundamentally the same for all couples, some people will experience the process a bit differently, especially if they have a high net worth. In these cases, certain areas of the divorce process, such as discovery and negotiations, tend to be more contentious and drawn out because of the assets that are at stake. Here are a few other ways that a high net worth divorce may be different from typical divorces:

High Net Worth Divorces Typically Take Longer and Cost More

If one or both spouses earn a large income, they will typically have many more assets of significant value than the average couple. This can cause problems when it comes to divorce, and there may be more contention when it comes to asset division. These types of disputes may result in a longer negotiation process, which in turn will lead to more lawyer’s fees or court costs if the case goes to trial.

Child Support May Be Calculated Differently

When it comes to child support, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) sets forth guidelines of how support will be calculated. This is done using figures from a table that correspond to the couple’s combined net income and the number of children being supported. If the couple’s income exceeds the maximum income amount listed in the table (around $30,000 per month), then the court will determine child support on a case-by-case basis, looking at what amount of support will be necessary to meet the children’s needs following the divorce.

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