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Child Custody and Support in Divorce in Illinois

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Child Custody and Support in Divorce in Illinois
Published
February 13, 2024
Author
dpinkston@pinkstonlawgroup.com
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Navigating through a divorce can be a challenging process, especially when children are involved. Understanding how child custody and support are determined is crucial for parents going through this transition. At Pinkston Law Group, P.C., we aim to provide comprehensive legal support and guidance to ensure that your rights and the best interests of your children are protected throughout this process. Here’s what you need to know about child custody and support in Illinois.

Child Custody in Illinois: Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Illinois law has moved away from the traditional terms of “custody” and “visitation.” Instead, the focus is now on the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” This includes decision-making authority and parenting time. The law aims to encourage parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that outlines how they will share these responsibilities after the divorce.

Decision-Making Authority

Decision-making authority covers significant decisions affecting the child’s life, including education, health care, religion, and extracurricular activities. Courts can allocate this authority to one or both parents, depending on what is in the child’s best interests.

Parenting Time

Parenting time refers to how parents will share time with their children. The schedule can vary widely, depending on the family’s circumstances and the children’s needs. The primary goal is to ensure that children have a healthy and consistent relationship with both parents.

Child Support in Illinois

Child support in Illinois is determined using the “income shares” model. This approach considers both parents’ incomes to ensure that children receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have if their parents were still together.

Calculating Child Support

The process begins with determining each parent’s net income, and then combining these amounts to find the total family income. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides guidelines for the amount of support expected for the total family income, which is then divided proportionally according to each parent’s contribution to the total income.

Additional Expenses

Beyond the basic child support obligation, the court may also order parents to contribute to additional expenses for their children, such as health care, education, and extracurricular activities. These are typically shared proportionally to the parents’ incomes.

Modifying Child Custody and Support

Life circumstances change, and the law allows for modifications to both parenting time and child support orders. To modify an order, a parent must show a significant change in circumstances. This could include changes in income, employment, health, or the child’s needs.

How Pinkston Law Group, P.C. Can Help

At Pinkston Law Group, P.C., we understand the complexities of child custody and support in Illinois. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you navigate these challenging times with compassion and expertise. Whether you’re in the initial stages of divorce, need assistance with developing a parenting plan, or require representation in court, we are committed to advocating for your rights and the best interests of your children.

Call to Action

If you’re facing divorce and have concerns about child custody and support, contact Pinkston Law Group, P.C. today. Our dedicated team is ready to provide the support and guidance you need to achieve a favorable outcome for you and your children. Let us help you navigate this process with confidence and care. Call us or visit our website to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing your family’s future.

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