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Barrington child support lawyersThe COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in a variety of ways, but for many people and families, the most significant impact has been the loss of employment or income. If you are a parent who pays child support, and you have been laid off, had your hours cut back, or have otherwise experienced a reduction in the income you earn, you may find yourself unable to meet your court-ordered obligations. To avoid legal consequences while ensuring that you will be able to provide for your children and meet your own needs, you will want to be sure to understand how to proceed in these types of cases.

Modification of Child Support

It is important to understand that once a child support order has been issued by the court, you will be required to follow its terms. If you miss any child support payments, you will be required to pay the amount owed, and interest may apply to past-due payments. When you are already struggling financially, this can create a huge financial burden, leading to ongoing difficulties even after you regain your financial footing. 

When child support is owed, the court may take a number of actions to recover this amount, including garnishing your future wages or unemployment benefits, intercepting tax refunds or COVID-19 economic stimulus payments, or placing a lien on your property. You can also face other consequences, such as the suspension of your driver’s license or the reporting of non-payment to credit bureaus, which can affect your credit score. Depending on the amount owed, you could even be held in contempt of court, which could lead to additional fines or time in prison.

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Why Illinois Has Not Passed an Equal Parenting Time LawIllinois fathers’ rights groups are pushing for a legal presumption of equal parenting time, but a majority of Illinois' lawmakers are unwilling to change this aspect of the state’s divorce laws. Last spring, an equal parenting time bill stalled in a committee of the Illinois House of Representatives. Illinois law presumes that it is in the best interest of a child for one parent to have a majority of the parenting time unless a parent can prove otherwise. Fathers and some lawmakers want to reverse that presumption so that 50-50 parenting time is the default arrangement.

Arguments in Favor

Though there is no gender bias written into Illinois’ parenting laws, mothers are still far more likely to receive a majority of parenting time after a divorce than fathers. Mothers are traditionally the primary caregivers in a family, which makes them the logical choice if one parent must have a majority of the parenting time. Parenting agreements often divide parenting time into a 70-30 split. Fathers argue for the equal parenting time law because:

  • It could give fathers more parenting time, which would benefit the children;
  • It is difficult to get a court to approve equal parenting time with the current law; and
  • It would still allow courts to award a majority of parenting time to one parent if it is in the best interest of the children.

Arguments Against

Illinois presumes unequal parenting time because courts often believe that an equal parenting time schedule is overly disruptive to the children. It is in a child’s best interest to have a stable living situation with minimum traveling between parents. With 50-50 parenting time, the children:

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When a woman denies that a man is the father of her child or a man denies that he is the father of a child, a paternity test can be ordered by the court. The tests used to determine if a man is a child's father can also positively exclude a man from being the father.

The first paternity blood test looked at the blood types of the mother, father and child. This testing used the ABO blood typing system. Humans can have A, B, AB or O blood types. A mother who has Type B blood and father who has Type O blood can't have a child with AB blood. The father of the child must have A or AB blood type. Blood tests that only determine blood types can't be used to determine if a man is the father of a child, but they can be used to determine if there is a possibility that a man is the father.

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Tagged in: Fathers Rights
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