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Once child custody is established, child support matters should be addressed

For any parent, the wellbeing of a child is often top-of-mind when contemplating divorce. In fact, fearing the negative impact that a divorce may have on a child, some parents sacrifice their own happiness and stay in unfulfilling marriages much longer than they should. Yes, divorce can be difficult for children to adjust to and understand. However, a child is very20091119-couple-fighting-350x263.jpg likely to suffer lasting emotional and mental damage in cases where he or she grows up in a home filled with tension and resentment.

For Illinois parents who plan to divorce, many have questions and concerns about child custody and child support. Whether parents are able to come to an agreement about child custody matters on their own or must turn to the courts, once a custody order is established, matters related to child support must be addressed.

Raising a child is not only a big responsibility, but also comes with many big expenses. According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for a child born in 2013, parents can expect to spend an average of roughly $245,340 until he or she reaches age 18. In cases where a parent plans to assist a child in purchasing a car or with college expenses, those costs increase exponentially.

For divorced parents living on a single-income, affording costs associated with providing for a child's basic necessities can be challenging. Add in expenses related to a child's medical and dental needs, and a single parent is likely to experience financial hardships. For these reasons, it's important that divorced parents explore child support options.

In Illinois, child support is typically granted to the custodial parent and follows a basic formula based upon a paying parent's net income. For example, a non-custodial parent supporting one child can expect to pay 20 percent of his or her net monthly income in child support. For two children, the amount increases to 28 percent and for six or more children, tops out at 50 percent.

Every child has the right to receive financial support from both parents. Parents who are facing issues related to child support may benefit from the advice and assistance of an attorney who specializes in child support enforcement and modification.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Illinois Child Support Guidelines," April 16, 2015

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