When two parents are living apart while trying to raise a child, it can be particularly frustrating since the other parent’s biggest financial obligation is to pay child support each week. If a parent in Illinois flat out ignores the child support order, that parent can face serious penalties, including the possibility of jail time. However, sometimes parents who don’t want to shoulder their share of the financial burden when it comes to paying child support try to skirt around the law instead. Oftentimes, they do this by masking or understating income, including by quitting higher paying jobs voluntarily or to take a job that does not make as much.
Fortunately, a parent who is counting on that child support has some recourse in such situations. However, the parent has to prove that the other parent is taking no job or a lower-paying job by choice, as the court is not going to punish someone simply for falling on hard economic times or even making an understandable but mistaken decision.
If a parent does manage to prove this to a judge, then the judge can consider the person’s resume, education and salary history, as well as other factors, including the possibility that the other parent’s relatives have a business for which the other parent could work for. The judge can then come up with a number for the parent’s “potential income” and use that number to figure support, even if the other parent makes much less.
While it may be well the right thing to do in a lot of child support cases, it is not always easy to get a judge to award child support based on potential income. That is why Lake County residents and others in the greater Chicago area may want to consider getting the help of an experienced child support attorney.