Child support agreements and orders in a divorce settlement are often contentious and challenging portions of the entire divorce process. In the ideal world, once an agreement is reached, it is followed through with both parties complying. Unfortunately that does not always happen and sometimes one spouse needs to seek assistance in obtaining the child support or other payments owed to them by the other spouse. Sometimes this even leads to wage garnishments or other actions involving an employer.
Families facing such issues as divorce and child custody arrangements may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. In Illinois and states around the country, many people may not fully understand all of the services, resources and risks associated with making preparations like child support payments until they’re in the middle of it themselves. That’s why so many can find themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous business models and fraud. A recent fraud case serves as a disturbing example of how unsuspecting parents, and their kids, can be victimized by deceptive practices.
Illinois family law legislation is intended to, among other things, protect children while upholding the rights of both parents. Policies regarding issues like child support are in place to help guarantee that mothers and fathers meet their responsibilities as parents, providing for the financial needs of their kids. And while thousands of child support agreements are settled upon each year, there are instances where such arrangements should be reconsidered or even dissolved. In fact, one fairly unique case involving paternity and child support issues has prompted the state of Illinois to consider enacting new legislation.
Most parents understand that they are financially responsible for their children no matter their personal circumstances. After all, children's needs are constant and do not typically wax or wane with their parents' income level or availability. It is for that reason that child support payments are strictly enforced by the state of Illinois. Once a parent agrees to make payments, they are bound by the law to do so or else may face steep penalties. However, what happens to a parent's financial obligation to their kids if they lose their potential to earn an income because they are incarcerated? The state is now attempting to address that very question with a new piece of legislation.
In most cases, parents are legally responsible for providing for their children even if they do not have primary custody. In the state of Illinois, as in many states across the country, fulfilling that responsibility typically involves contributing child support payments to help ensure that kids' needs are accounted for and met by both parents. Ideally, predetermined monthly payments are consistently made once they have been legally established. Though, there are instances where a parent stops providing for their child either by choice or circumstance. One proposed piece of legislation attempts to hold qualifying parents responsible for their financial obligations in cases where they come across large sums of money.
It recently came to light that a woman has filed a lawsuit against NBA legend Michael Jordan. The suit claims that Jordan is the biological father of the woman's now 16-year-old son. In addition to requesting that the retired basketball player's paternity be established once and for all via a medical test, the suit specifies-among other things-that Jordan should be responsible for child support. However, the Chicago sports star is now responding to these allegations with claims of his own.
Parents who have long hoped for a change in the way child support is calculated in Illinois may find renewed hope in a recommendation by the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. Experts say the state's child support models haven't been updated since the 1980s. With 38 states having changed their outdated models since then, many believe Illinois lawmakers should get with the times.
In instances where one parent fails to provide financially for his or her children, the court may intervene to enforce child support stipulations. The parent can be responsible for any overdue payments he or she owes in addition to their current monthly fee. If the parent continues to defy court orders, possible legal consequences might include wage garnishment or even incarceration. In one state, one extreme case of a man neglecting to pay owed child support has led the court to take drastic measures.
As technology moves forward, the law must also evolve to match it. This rule applies to everything from self-driving cars to software piracy to environmental protection. It also applies to medical reproductive technology, where issues such as surrogacy, paternity and artificial insemination often come into conflict with current family law. This is apparently the situation for a family in Kansas, where a man is being asked to pay child support for a daughter that was conceived through a sperm donation.
In an entry last week, we discussed the basic principles involved in a divorce in Illinois. This week, we will follow a similar thread: the basic principles behind a child custody decision.