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How Can I Obtain Child Support if I Am Unmarried in Illinois?

 Posted on July 31, 2019 in Child Support

Lombard child support attorney

There is a common saying that it takes a village to raise a child. The state of Illinois believes that all children have a right to receive financial support from both of their parents. When an unmarried couple has a baby, child support payments can help spread the child-rearing costs more evenly. Unfortunately, not every parent understands the necessity of paying child support. An unmarried father may think he is not legally obligated to provide for his or her child financially. When a mother wishes to collect child support from an uncooperative father, there are several steps she must take to do so.  

Paternity Must Be Established Before You Can Receive Child Support

Before a child support order can be entered, paternity must be established. There are three main ways that paternity can be formally established in Illinois:

  • Signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form

  • Seeking an administrative paternity order through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS)

  • Filing a paternity lawsuit in the state circuit court

A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) must be signed by both parents, so this option will not work if the father of the child does not acknowledge his parentage. If the father will not sign a VAP, the Illinois family court system may need to get involved. If there is a question as to the biological relationship between the supposed father and the child, he may be required to submit to DNA testing. If a DNA test proves that the man is the father of the child, he will be subject to Illinois state laws regarding child support.

Acquiring a Child Support Order From the Court

Once paternity has been legally established, a child support order can be entered. Casual child support arrangements cannot be enforced by law, so it is crucial that parents obtain an official child support order through the Illinois family courts. The amount of child support that the child’s other parent will need to pay is determined by the Income Shares model in Illinois. This model uses each parent’s net income and other information to calculate how much child support the parent with less parenting time will pay to the other. A parent who does not fulfill his or her court-ordered child support obligations can face serious consequences, including wage garnishment, property liens, driver’s license suspension, and in egregious cases, even criminal penalties.

Contact a Wheaton Child Support Lawyer

For help establishing paternity, enforcing a child support order, and more, contact the skilled legal team at A. Traub & Associates. Our experienced Lombard family law attorneys know how difficult it can be for unmarried mothers to get the financial support they need to adequately care for their child. We are committed to helping you resolve your child support issues. Call us today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation.


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