How Financial Differences Complicate Child Support
It’s sometimes sad when a married couple splits—but what happens to their children? How is child support figured out in a way that best serves the futures of those children? At the Law Offices of Stuart A. Reid, P.C., where Stuart Reid works as a Deerfield, IL, child support attorney, one of the determining factors of child support is the financial situation of the parents who are splitting up.
The easier it is to resolve the sources of the parents’ incomes and their expenses, the easier it will be to resolve child support for Deerfield, IL, kids. For example, when both parents receive W-2 forms for their salaried incomes, determining child support will be relatively straightforward, even if the incomes differ by $200 or $300 or so.
The process becomes complicated, however, when one or both parents are self-employed and claim many personal expenses to reduce their taxable incomes. In one case, Reid was working with a client who ran his own business. This client claimed a dramatic reduction in his business income simply by depositing business-related earnings directly into his personal savings account. Such dramatic changes of actual income significantly increase the difficulty of establishing the fairest Deerfield, IL, child support.
In Illinois, there are specific legal guidelines that direct judges how to portion Deerfield, IL, child support. For instance, if both parents are earning between $60,000 and $120,000 annually, the guidelines control how the child support is apportioned. But if just one of the parties earns significantly more—say $400,000 a year—the judge could decide that the highest earner will be exclusively responsible for child support.
Figuring out child support amounts becomes especially difficult when one parent loses their job or experiences a dramatic reduction in income (such as when work hours are cut back). When this income goes down, the same old expenses still apply, so there’s a lot of pressure on the parent in their life other than a) the divorce and, of course, b) the applicability of assigning child support responsibility. The parent will still be considered for Deerfield, IL, child support, but those added burdens of childcare, school costs, medical expenses, and extracurricular activities will put a huge amount of financial stress on a parent whose income has decreased.
If the dramatic reduction in income occurs after child support has already been decided, then the parent could appeal for a modification of their child support responsibilities. In Illinois, says Reid, child support is always modifiable so long as the reasons are legitimate. Usually, courts are looking for proof of a 20% change in income up or down before considering a modification.
Child support can be either very reasonable for both parties—and therefore easily enforceable, fully on the shoulders of the highest-earning parent, or prone to drastic modifications when income is suddenly lost. With all the factors involved, parents certainly need to consult a family lawyer like Reid.
Deerfield, IL 60015
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.