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The never-ending trouble with child support

In many divorces, couples tend to conflate a great many issues. This leads to problems. A party may feel as though they lost on the division of the marital property and refuse to pay child support or only pay partial amounts.

Another parent may feel he or she is not receiving the correct amount in child support or coverage for other expenses. They may decide to refuse access of the other parent to the children.

These are all separate issues. Property division is not child support and child support is not visitation or custody. The court considers each one separately and parties to a dispute do not get to treat court orders as a cafeteria line, where they can pick and choose only those items of their liking.

In most cases, child support is determined by the statutes created by the Illinois legislature, and with limited exceptions, a judge cannot depart from that requirement. But bitterness in the relationship of the parents can poison the entire process.

Parents will flee a jurisdiction and intentionally flaunt refusal to comply with court orders. They change jobs frequently or are self-employed and underreport income. But as we have commented before, child support is not a tool or a proxy for you to use to attack the other parent.

It is for your children. Don't think about what the other parent thinks of you, consider for a moment what your children will think of you. How will you argue to your child that your refusal to pay their child support was in their best interest or for their own good?

If you tell them that, will they ever believe you on any topic? 

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Child support challenges courts in Illinois," Lisa Black, October 25, 2013

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