Child support lawyers are essential for custodial parents that will need child support to help pay for the costs associated with raising a child, including living, schooling and enrichment activity expenses. Every state has unique laws and enforcement mechanisms to determine child support payments and enforce these agreements. In the event of the non-payment of child support, an Illinois child support lawyer will be able to pursue your case and obtain proper redress in court or with the proper enforcement agency. Consult with an Illinois child support lawyer to maximize child support payments when dealing with divorce or other issues involving a non-custodial parent.
What should I bring when meeting with an Illinois child support lawyer?
When suing for nonpayment of child support, bring the settlement agreement that obligates the spouse to pay support. Ensure that you can prove that you have complied with the provisions of the divorce settlement as well. When attempting to secure child support payments in an initial settlement or court decision, bring a tally of the costs associated with raising the children. This includes school supplies, tuition, activities and any other reasonable costs a parent would accrue when raising a child. There is no guarantee that you will not receive that exact amount but this provides the Illinois child support lawyer with a benchmark for an appropriate level of support.
How is child support calculated?
Child support is generally calculated based on the net income of the non-custodial parent and based on the number of children that need to be supported. Federal guidelines recommend 20% of the parent’s net income for one child, up to 50% for more than six children. Of course, these are merely guidelines and the judge has the ultimate decision in regards to the amount of child support to be paid. The Illinois child support lawyer is essential in presenting your case to the judge for the appropriate level of child support. Factors that are subjective by state include the definition of “net income” and if this includes gifts, loans, return on investments and other assets. The aforementioned child expenses also factor into the child support calculation, depending on the judge and skill of the Illinois child support lawyer. Child support usually ends when the child turns 18, although it may continue until the age of 19 if the child is still in high school. Prior arrangements for child support may continue the payments, as typical, beyond the age of 18, although there is generally no obligation to do so. This may be the case for developmentally disabled or impaired children. Illinois child support lawyers will be able to help in these rare situations where the child support payments must continue beyond the age of 18.
How do I find a legitimate Illinois child support lawyer?
The best place to look for an Illinois child support lawyer is with Illinois bar associations. The largest of these associations is the voluntary Illinois State Bar Association, with over 30,000 members. These associations will usually offer sectional membership in family law and publish the contact information of those members in a voluntary directory. Based on the professional and ethical standards of the association, you will be able to make an informed decision to use that directory. Lawyer referral services are sometimes available, but generally, any lawyer that pays for the service will be listed. Still, if the service offers free or low cost consultations, then an individual looking for an Illinois child support lawyer could be best served by this service.
What will I pay for the services of an Illinois child support lawyer?
The type and nature of legal fees for Illinois child support lawyers will vary from case to case. Most Illinois child support lawyers or lawyer services will posts fee as a range, rather than a set figure, to reflect the variable outcome and length of court cases. Factors affecting your case may include a spouse disputing your support claims or right to custody.
A retainer is a fee that remains in a trust account. This may become an expensive arrangement as every time the lawyer performs a service related to your case, he charges this account. An Illinois child support lawyer may ask you to set aside a retainer fee. Leftover retainer can be returned to the client, but there is also a chance that the attorney will exhaust the retainer and require the client to refill the account. The retainer does not include court costs, which are also paid by the client. However, these fees, such as the fees for filing the case, are fixed.
Take advantage of free consultations when they are available to discuss potential fees and payment arrangements with Illinois lawyers. The above fees do not consider court costs, which are also paid by the client. You may be able to arrange low cost and extended payment for legal services at the discretion of the attorney or law firm.
Free child support lawyers may be available to parents that cannot afford a regular lawyer to deal with custody or an adjustment of child support payments. For all other cases, spouses seeking child support or contesting a child support petition will find the use of free child support lawyers useful. They must be able to prove to the service that they cannot afford a lawyer under normal circumstances and that the burned placed by too much or too little child support requires them to seek the help of free child support lawyers.
What are questions to ask Illinois child support lawyers?
How does my case relate to Illinois state and local laws?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
Are you an active member, in good standing, of the Illinois Bar Association?
What roles do you play as a member?
Can I please have all fees in writing?
Do you see any potential flaws in my child support claim?
Can you refer me to another lawyer if you are unable to take my case?
Can you represent me if I need to sue for non-payment of child support?