Legal Question in Family Law in Illinois

my son just went through child custody and divorce the judge who heard the case seemed very disinterested with my son, his lawyer and to what had caused the divorce ( daughter-in-law was cheating and living with another man). her (the judge) judgment was that she have custody and he pay her out-standing credit card bills, all the clothing for the children,insurance life and health and half of all medical bills anything the children might need for school plus child support of $198.00 a week when he only makes a little over $500.00 a week plus he has to pay his bills (ins. auto,gas,rent,food, lawyer bills and entertainment for the children every weekend). do judges do the math or is it out of spite ? to top this off my ex-daughter-in-law did it with out hiring a lawyer.

Asked on 4/22/11, 8:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Raiford Palmer Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C.

This is a difficult situation for your son but not uncommon.

1. Per 750 ILCS 5/505, child support is at a minimum set as a percentage of net income for support of the support payor, in this case your son. For one child, this is 20%, for two, 28% for example.

2. The Court does not care about the reasons for the break down in the marriage when setting child support. This is why I generally dissuade clients from hiring private investigators, et cetera, as it is generally a waste of time and money to find out when they are seeing the paramour, etc. (unless the person is spending marital cash on the paramour, that is a different issue).

3. Without knowing the facts of the case and the entire asset/liability, income and expense picture I cannot tell you whether the overall result is equitable here. I can say that it is not unusual for a support payor to pay a percentage of net income for support (like 28%) and be required to maintain health insurance for the kids, and be required to maintain some life insurance to cover the child support and potential future college expenses, and pay half of uncovered medical expenses as well as half of public school and extracurricular activity expenses as well. I cannot speak to the credit card bills and clothing as I don't have all of the details of the case.

4. The Court really does not care what the payor is left with, or what his remaining bills are - providing for the children is the Court's number one priority. The base support figure is strictly income driven (in most cases, there are some rare exceptions) and the other items are typical for all but the very lowest income support payors.

I sincerely hope this helps.

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Answered on 5/18/11, 6:18 pm

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