Illinois Child Custody and Child Support Attorney
Family Law Lawyer Serving Cook and DuPage Counties
Divorce is painful. Ending a relationship between two people who once were in love is never easy. It becomes even more so when there are minor children involved. In many divorce cases involving children, child custody and support often become major points of contention. Child custody battles occur because each side believes their retaining custody is in the best interests of their child or children. Even once custody is determined, other critical child related issues must be resolved, such as support and visitation.
A seasoned DuPage County family law attorney can be very helpful in your child custody or child support case. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the process as well as the local court systems could prove to be invaluable in securing your desired result. Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law has over 30 years of family law experience and has helped numerous clients with child custody and support issues in DuPage County, Cook County and communities throughout the Chicago area. Michael is compassionate and takes the time to go through all the details of your case and thoroughly prepare you for your court hearings.
The determination of who should retain custody of the children is not easily or simply determined. The standard for review is “what is in the best interests of the child.” The court will take many factors into account in making this determination, including:
- Work schedule of each parent;
- Home environment for each parent;
- Character of each parent;
- Drug, criminal or sexual offender history of each parent; and
- Siblings or other children living with each parent.
When child custody is determined, the issue of visitation rights for the non-custodial parent is the next consideration. Though the non-custodial parent is normally granted a generous visitation schedule, there are times when a court decides to place restrictions on visitation rights if the court makes a finding that such visitation would be harmful or injurious to the child. Some of those restrictions may include:
- Prohibition of overnight visits;
- Limiting visits to the home of the custodial parent;
- Prohibiting the non-custodial parent from being under the influence when contacting or visiting the child; and
- Requiring visits to be overseen by a third-party.
New Illinois Child Support Guidelines in July 2017
In Illinois, the amount of child support used to be calculated based on the non-custodial parent's net income and the number of children. However, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was recently changed, and in July 2017, new guidelines for determining child support payments went into effect. Under these new guidelines, Illinois now uses an "income shares" model in which a basic support obligation is determined based on the amount that the parents would typically have spent to care for their children prior to their divorce.
Courts will use tables provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to determine the amount of parents' basic support obligation based on the parents' combined net income and the number of children. Each parent will be responsible for a percentage of this amount that is equal to the percentage they contribute to the combined income. In cases of Shared Physical Care, which occur when children have at least 146 overnight stays with both parents each year, additional calculations will be made to determine a shared physical care support obligation and allocate that amount between the parents based on each parent's percentage of overnight stays.
These guidelines are generally followed by the courts, but a deviation from them may occur, if the court finds other factors require such a deviation because the application of the standard would be unfair or unjust to the parties or children.
Child custody and support cases can become very complicated, especially when the parents are not in agreement on the specifics. When you are faced with a child custody dispute or child support determination, do not fight this battle alone. Contact Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law at 630-932-7007 for a free consultation. Our DuPage County family law attorney will put his three decades of experience to work for you to ensure that your best interest and the best interests of your children are represented inside the courtroom. Our law office represents clients for family law cases in Cook County and DuPage County; including the city of Chicago and its suburbs of Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Bensenville, Itasca, Hillside, Darien, Lemont, and Bridgeview.