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Understanding the basics of child support

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2023 | Child Support |

Some Illinois parents may be ordered to pay child support after a divorce. However, child support is not limited to divorce cases. In many cases, child support is paid by a parent who may have a child with a former partner even if there was no serious relationship. For those who may be seeking child support, it helps to understand what it is and the basics of how it works.

The purpose of child support

Child support is meant to help cover a child’s expenses. Food, clothing, medical care, daycare and education expenses are just a few of the many costs associated with raising a child. Child support amounts depend on multiple factors. Each parent is expected to contribute a certain percentage based on the projected cost to provide for the child every month. The contribution percentages vary based on the earnings of each parent.

How child support works

In most cases, the parent who needs financial assistance obtains child support through a court order. However, some parents may reach an agreement on their own for child support payments. Once the custodial parent attempts to obtain child support, an agency may need to first establish paternity.

People who are ordered to pay child support will be expected to pay a certain amount for each child every month. The payments can be made directly or automatically deducted from a bank account. If the non-custodial parent does not pay the ordered child support, there can be serious consequences.

Child support can be collected by a custodial parent or a legal guardian with custody. Since paternity must be established to collect child support, it may be necessary to locate the non-custodial parent in some cases.