August is Child Support Awareness Month, a national observance first initiated in 1995 by former President Bill Clinton. This month is a chance to recognize federal, state, and local agencies that work diligently to provide child support services to their communities and to also acknowledge the dedicated parents who uphold their parental responsibility of regularly paying child support.
As most of Illinois thinks of August as the last chance to enjoy summer before the season cools down, to those in the child support community, it means something different. Child Support Awareness Month is observed every year in August. At the Law Office of David A. King, P.C., we frequently think of the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, as indeed, it can often take a community of support and resources to establish the most productive environment in which a child can grow. Child support agencies and compliant parents who consistently pay their child support play a vital role in creating this environment. Child Support Awareness Month exists to honor those who strive to ensure the well-being and support of all children, as well as to call attention to the importance of child support in a child’s life.
Why is Child Support So Important?
Child support plays a much larger role than people may realize. The most commonly known purpose is the economic support provided to the child and the parent with the majority of parenting time (the custodial parent). This holds great significance on its own for providing day-to-day financial support and necessities. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), child support also serves the following important goals:
- Child support reduces poverty and financial insecurity among children and custodial parents.
- Child support reduces public spending on welfare, preventing single-parent families from entering the system and helping those that do, leave the system more quickly.
- Child support collection positively impacts family relationships and increases the involvement of noncustodial parents in children’s lives.
This last point is likely a lesser known benefit of child support. Children need to be supported by both parents, not just financially, but emotionally. Noncustodial parents who pay child support are often more involved in their child’s life. This helps to create a strong foundation that carries the child into adulthood. It also reinforces a child’s feeling of being important enough to both parents to receive care that supports their well-being.
Child Support in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Division of Child Support Services helps Illinois children, parents, and families by providing child support services to ensure children receive financial support from both parents. The department focuses on fairness to both parents and considers genuinely challenging circumstances that they may face, such as unemployment or disability. However, their primary focus is ensuring that children receive the support they deserve.
In Illinois, child support is calculated using the income shares method. This method is based on both parents’ income and the number of children included in the child support order using the Illinois child support guidelines. Each child support case is unique as additional factors, such as the percentage of parenting time, can affect the amount of support owed.
Failing to pay court-ordered Illinois child support comes with serious consequences, which may include wage garnishment, travel restrictions, penalties, and incarceration, not to mention, the financial and emotional damage it can impart onto the child who should be receiving support.
Leading Illinois Parents Through the Child Support Process
At the Law Office of David A. King, P.C., we truly understand the impact that child support has on the present and future well-being of children, and how important it is to the parents who come to us for legal assistance.
We work one on one with our clients to help them understand their child support rights within the Illinois court system. For parents who are behind on their support due to job loss or a similar challenge, we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can help you prevent further legal action and get caught up with your payments. If you are a parent who is intentionally evading child support payments, contact us before you are subject to further consequences, as they will catch up to you. Schedule a consultation by calling us at (630) 504-7210.
If you are seeking counsel to establish a new child support order, or modify an existing one, call us at the number above. We recognize that child support can be a complicated and contentious issue, yet we always strive for what is in the child’s best interest. Our top-rated divorce and family law attorneys serve Illinois clients throughout DuPage, Cook, Kane, and Will Counties.
And in honor of Child Support Awareness Month, for those parents who regularly pay child support and are actively involved in the lives of their children, the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. thanks you.