Child Support

Child support seems simple on its face, but in fact this area of law is governed by no fewer than 14 federal and Illinois laws. If you're not working with an attorney, you probably should be!

 

The “statutory guideline percentages” are just that: guidelines — the court may deviate from the guidelines when circumstances warrant and, these days, more cases than not justify a deviation. If you're not working with an attorney, you probably should be! 

 

Child support matters are complicated by the fact that there are two systems processing claims and defenses — the civil court system (your local courthouse where it's just you and your lawyer, the other parent, and the judge) and the “administrative system” administered by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) (a faceless, nameless, bureaucracy where an option tree answers EVERY phone call, you can never speak with a human, and EVERY call is dealt with by pre-recorded messages). If you're not working with an attorney, you probably should be! 

 

Finally, once a support order is entered, payments and collections may be handled by the parents, directly, the court clerk, the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, or HFS.  Sometimes these operators interact with each other and sometimes they do not.  If you're not working with an attorney, you should be!

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