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Protecting Your Rights In Family Matters

When do mothers have to pay child support in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Child Support And Maintenance

Many people imagine child support as being something that only divorced fathers have to deal with. However, as women gain more earning power in the market, the mother may actually be the one who has to cover this expense.

Instead of assuming that the court will force a father to pay child support after a divorce, couples should understand when the mother may be responsible for it.

When might a court make a mother pay child support?

Like other states, Illinois law expects both parents to provide material support for their children. During divorce proceedings, the court will estimate the financial benefits a child would have received if the parents were to stay together and attempt to create an arrangement where the child can get a similar level of support.

The court will consider each parent’s income and the custody arrangement in determining the amount of support. When the noncustodial parent earns higher wages, that individual may have to pay child support to the co-parent. Even when parents split custody equally, the parent who earns more may have to pay support so the child can enjoy a consistent living standard. Therefore, if the mother earns more, the court could order her to pay child support.

What happens if a mother stops paying child support?

Women face the same penalties for failure to make child support payments as men. The consequences could include:

  • Wage garnishment
  • The seizure of assets
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Professional license suspension
  • Charges for contempt of court

Courts try to do what is in the best interest of children when making decisions about custody and support, so women do not automatically receive preferred treatment in either decision. Therefore, a mother may end up being the one to pay child support for her children.

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