When a Child Changes Households After Divorce

Most contested Chicago divorce cases and custody cases settle before going to trial. When parents reach an agreement on issues related to their child, one of the attorneys prepares the written parenting judgment. The draft judgment is reviewed and revised by the attorneys and their clients until a final version is achieved. Eventually, the parenting judgment is signed by the parties. This parenting judgment is important because it will outline the rights and responsibilities of each parent. The parenting judgment can provide detailed terms for child support, a parenting time schedule, a holiday schedule, decision-making powers, etc. Many people might feel that after they spent so much time creating this agreement that it should be rigid and unchanging. However, oftentimes life throws a “curve ball” and a rigid, inflexible approach to the existing parenting agreement does not make sense. One situation calling for flexibility that we occasionally encounter is when a child decides that he or she wants to primarily live with the other parent, and not the parent designated in the parenting agreement. Sometimes the parents cannot agree on whether the child should move, and the Court may need to rule on the issue. If the parents agree to have the child change households, there may be legal issues that need to be addressed. One of the biggest issues could be child support. In Illinois, child support is usually awarded to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child. If that changes, then it may make sense to change child support. If a parent does not pay a court-ordered child support obligation, a child support arrearage may begin to build. State-mandated interest rates on unpaid child support could cause the balance to increase even more. The State of Illinois could even get involved and try to collect on the unpaid child support obligation. Therefore, the parents may want to consider “officially” modifying the child support obligation. Another issue is the parenting time schedule. Sometimes parents will agree to have the old visitation schedule apply to the new situation. In other cases, the parties may need to create a completely new schedule.

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If you are looking for legal advice and representation with an Illinois divorce, schedule a consultation with experienced Chicago divorce attorney, Tanya Witt, at (312) 500-5400 or info@thewittlawfirm.com.

Representing men and women in Chicago divorce and child custody cases.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney regarding your specific case.