Parents who pay child support held to high standards

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Friday, September 30, 2016.

An Illinois noncustodial parent could face harsh penalties after missing child support payments. These could include contempt of court and possible jail time in addition to wage garnishment.

In general, the legal system places greater burdens on those paying child support than the people receiving the funds. A custodial parent does not have to provide any receipts or other proof that child support money was used to pay for the needs of the children. A custodial parent could spend the money in any way.

The federal government also chips in funds to states when state agencies collect child support. Amounts vary from $1.50 to $2 for every $1 obtained from noncustodial parents. State agencies, however, do not apply these federal contributions to helping parents. States have the freedom to use this money for anything.

Child support guidelines in most states take the income of both parents into account when calculating the amount to be ordered to be paid by the noncustodial parent. Judges will strive to maintain a standard of living for children similar to the lifestyle that they had prior to the divorce.

A noncustodial parent whose financial situation worsens after a divorce might experience difficulty meeting payment deadlines. Filing a motion for a child support modification with the court having jurisdiction over the matter could provide relief from financial hardship and allow the parent to avoid falling behind on payments. Having the assistance of an attorney could be advisable in this regard. However, it should be noted that even if a modification is granted, it will apply only with respect to future payments and will have no affect on any amounts that are in arrears.

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