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Evanston Child Support Lawyer

Establish & Enforce the duties of a parent.

Our Evanston child support attorneys ensure your children have everything they need.


Seeking Child Support in Evanston? Talk to a Lawyer.

Child support isn’t a punishment. It’s an obligation.

Our Evanston child support attorneys know that financial support is critical when filing for divorce. It’s often the key to maintaining the safety and security your kids have had their entire lives. With our experienced legal team, we will work hard so you and your kids get the support you deserve.

How O. Long Law Helps

  • Planning for Financial Stability
  • Drafting a Fair Child Support Arrangement
  • Pursuing & Enforcing Court Orders
  • Maintaining Quality of Life
  • Protecting Parental Rights Now & In the Future

Case Results

Petition to Modify Support Dismissed

When the party responsible for paying requested a modification to reduce their obligation, we demonstrated their failure to show a reduction in income. The request was dismissed.

Inappropriate Support Order Terminated

Our client was paying an unreasonable amount of support for an adult, non-disabled child for years. After we established the inequity, the support order was terminated.

Past -Due Support Recovered from Employer

We negotiated a settlement of past-due child support from an employer who incorrectly withheld the commission payments of the paying parent.

Why Our Firm?

As a women-led law firm and parents ourselves, we know divorce is stressful enough without having to worry about a drastic drop in your kid’s standard of living. Let us help calculate everything you need and pursue an inadequate support plan.

Clients Benefit From

  • Trial-tested attorneys who plan for every scenario.
  • A team approach that’s effective and efficient.
  • Consistent & clear communication to keep you informed.
  • Aggressive negotiators, so you can’t be bullied.

Meet Your Family's Team

Illinois Child Support: Laws & What to Consider

The Long & Short of It…

Typically, the parent the kids spend fewer overnights with pays support to the parent with more overnights. All parents have a support obligation; it doesn’t matter if the parents were never married. According to Illinois law, parents have an “obligation to provide for the reasonable and necessary physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child.”

Determining Child Support Payments

In 2017, Illinois completely changed its method of calculating child support payments. Previously, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act used a formula based on the non-custodial parent’s net income and the number of minor children.

Illinois now calculates child support based on how many overnights each parent has with the children, together with each parent’s income. Additional expenses, such as educational or medical expenses, are also divided between the parents.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has an online calculator showing how the legal formula determines child support payments, largely based on each parent’s income and where the child spends overnights during the calendar year.

What Child Support Covers

Child support covers housing, utilities, food, and basic needs like clothing and hygiene products in most divorces. Child-related expenses are additional, including child care, medical bills, and extracurricular activities (sports, music).

Average Child Support Payments

Child support payments vary. Each case is determined by net income, parental responsibilities, and parental time allocation and calculated using this table.

Factors That Influence Child Support

When calculating child support, the court may occasionally deviate from the guidelines for calculating support. When they do, they also consider the following:

  • Income and needs of the custodial parent
  • Income and needs of the non-custodial parent
  • Financial resources and needs of the child
  • Child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
  • Child’s standard of living had the parents remained married or in the same household

Obligations Beyond 18 Years Old

Court-ordered child support ends when a child turns 18 or 19 years old if still in high school unless the child is disabled and not capable of self-support. College expenses are different, and parents also have an obligation to contribute to those expenses, such as:

  • College Application Fees
  • College Tuition
  • Room & Board
  • Books, Fees & Transportation
  • Medical Expenses

Establishing Child Support & Paternity

A parent can establish a child support obligation with the help of a family law attorney or by contacting the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Either way, you will have a legal document that states when, how often, and how much a parent must pay. Making child support payments official requires you to confirm paternity, and there are two ways to establish paternity in Illinois. The first is completing a voluntary acknowledgment form and sending it to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The second method of establishing paternity is through a genetic test. This can be voluntary or obtained with a court order.

Making Child Support Payments

Child support is deducted from a parent’s income, and it can be withheld from a parent’s check directly. Your employer sends payment to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, which are forwarded to the recipient. You can also make payments by phone, mail, or online.

Late Payments

The state has several methods for collecting past-due child support payments:

  • Intercepting tax refunds
  • Placing a lien on bank accounts or property
  • Collecting unemployment benefits
  • Court hearing
  • Suspending or denying licenses (driver’s, professional, hunting, fishing)
  • Notifying a collections agency
  • Passport denial

Late child support payments accrue interest. The state may withhold funds from the parent’s income until the debt is paid in full.

Non-Paying Parents & Enforcement

Illinois has several methods to locate parents who willingly disappear to avoid paying child support. The state has a cooperative arrangement with the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Parent Locator Service, National New Hire Reporting Service, Illinois Secretary of State, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

In addition, if a parent fails to honor their commitment to making child support payments, it may constitute a breach of a court order. Depending on the situation, that parent can be held in contempt.

Child Support FAQ

Straight answers about child support & what to expect.

Does Child Support Increase or Decrease if a Parent Loses Their Job or Gets a New Job?

Child support does not automatically increase or decrease unless a parent requests a change from the court. The paying parent cannot simply stop paying child support when they lose their job. They must file a modification request.

Parents can use unemployment benefits and other financial assets to pay support. Likewise, the non-custodial parent should also inform the other parent and the state if they get a new job.

Are Child Support Payments Affected by Spousal Support?

Child support and spousal support (alimony) are separate. Child support is for a minor’s basic needs, like food, shelter, and clothing. In most cases, child support is mandatory until age 18. Spousal support is to help a partner reach financial stability. Spousal support plus child support is calculated in divorce and cannot be higher than a certain percentage of the payor’s income.

Does Child Support Stop if Either Parent Remarries?

Remarriage does not affect a parent’s obligation to support children from their previous marriage. A non-custodial parent can seek to modify (reduce) child support through no fault of their own (job loss, disability). Getting married again is a choice. So the answer is no; remarriage does not stop a parent’s child support obligations.

What if My Ex Stops Paying Child Support?

Unfortunately, not every parent lives up to their responsibilities. But there are several legal remedies when a former spouse stops paying child support. Although you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, it is often more direct and faster to let us take your ex to court.

Past-due child support accrues interest. It costs more to miss a child support payment than to do the right thing from the start.

Where Do You Practice & How Do I Reach You?

Our child support lawyers practice in Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties. We are based in Evanston, on Chicago’s North Shore, which includes the communities of Northbrook, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka.

We’ll schedule a quick 30-minute call to set up a consultation. One of our lawyers will review your situation, go over what’s important to you, and offer some advice.

Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm, and currently, we’re holding meetings via telephone or Zoom.