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Child support when the other parent isn't making money

Many single parents in Rockford, Illinois, who have responsibility for their children most of the time likely feel strongly that they should have help from the child's other parent in the form of child support. However, because the amount of child support a person must pay depends heavily on that person's income, it can be difficult to collect support from the other parent if he or she is not gainfully employed or running his or her own business.

The law does give parents some relief from this sort of situation. For one, the law presumes that any parent will be able to afford at least $40 a month per child, up to a maximum of $120.

More importantly, however, if a parent believes that the other parent could do something about his or her poor employment situation, then the parent can ask the court to consider the other parent's "potential" income.

What this means is that a court can consider the other parent's work history and skill set in order to estimate what that parent would be making if he or she were putting in a meaningful effort to find a job. A court will generally consider an able-bodied person capable of making a wage equivalent to three-fourths of the federal poverty guideline.

Getting a court to consider the other parent's potential income is not simply a matter of applying a support formula and will likely require presenting evidence to a judge. On the flip side, some parents in Illinois may be falsely accused of voluntary unemployment when they are in fact trying their best to find a job. In these sorts of situations, legal assistance may be necessary.

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Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C. 728 North Court Street, Suite B Rockford, IL 61103 Phone: 815-981-4859 Fax: 815-997-5129 Rockford Law Office Map