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Instead of Paying Child Support, He Bought Christmas Gifts

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

child support, christmas presents, Illinois family law attorneysWhen you receive child support payments from your child’s other parent, you and your child may come to rely on those funds to help provide basic necessities. If you are fortunate enough, a missed payment here and there will not cause a major financial crisis. Depending upon your situation, though, a single missed payment could cause you to be unable to pay the rent or to miss a utility bill deadline. But what happens when your child’s other parent shows up with Christmas presents this year instead of making his ordered payment?

Child Support Calculations

Under Illinois law, an order for child support is based on the net income of the supporting parent and the number of children being supported. Variations are permitted based on your family’s individual circumstances, but, in general, the considerations are the same. Most orders for support require the supporting parent or an employer on the parent’s behalf to submit payments to the State Disbursement Unit for proper documentation and allocation to the residential parent. This is how the state is able to keep track of the supporting parent’s compliance.

Gifts Not Considered Support

As far as the law is concerned, birthday, Christmas, and other gifts meant to mark a special occasion are not counted toward a parent’s obligation for child support. Regardless of the other parent’s good intentions, such gifts are not able to be tracked by the state and are not seen as contributing toward the child’s most basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing. While you may understand the other parent’s desire to give gifts, the presents are not viable substitutes for child support.

What Should You Do?

If your child’s other parent showed up with gifts instead of paying child support, you may not be quite sure how to react. To be fair, there really is no "right way" for dealing with such a situation. If your child already saw or opened the presents, it would be very difficult and somewhat unfair to take them from him or her and to have the other parent return them. On the other hand, simply letting the issue go creates the possibility of it happening again in the future. Whatever you decide to from a legal standpoint, be sure to let the other parent know that such a trade-off is not in compliance with the support order and that you intend to make note of it just in case documentation is ever needed.

When unique child support questions arise, it is important to seek answers from an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. Contact A. Traub & Associates today to schedule a consultation and get the guidance you need from a team that always puts your family’s needs first.


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