Skip to content

Child support rights for fathers

On behalf of Janet Boyle of Boyle Feinberg Sharma posted in Child Support on Thursday, January 28, 2016.

After divorce, a custodial parent in Illinois may find that child support can be a sticky issue. The idea of mothers having primary custody and being entitled to child support is more familiar, but in a modern world, fathers often take the role of being the custodial parent. However, there may be differing opinions on whether a father in this type of situation should seek child support. In fact, either party might be entitled to appropriate support based on the custodial arrangement, parenting plan and income differences.

In a famous case, the father of Bristol Palin’s newest baby has asked for child support and joint custody. Palin’s family members suggest that the father did not want any involvement with the child when they attempted to involve him during the pregnancy. Many view the burden faced by single mothers as major, suggesting that proper support is warranted. However, those committed to equality find that there may be cases in which fathers are worthy of receiving support if it is due.

Child support orders are determined according to state law rather than by public opinion. An Illinois court typically uses the number of children involved to determine the appropriate percentage of a non-custodial parent’s income to award as child support. An individual who owes support could face legal problems for failing to pay.

A non-custodial parent who fails to keep up with child support obligations might need to request a modification through the court system. However, it would be necessary to provide proof of a change in circumstances to validate the need for a change to the order. A lawyer might help a client by identifying the specific documents needed and by gathering them for use in court.