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What does child support cover.

Roselle, IL |

My ex is telling me that I have to pay for my child drivers Ed. And then said that I have to pay for her car insurance, when she starts driving. I want to tell my Ex it's covered under child support. Am I right , or is this something we have to go to court for.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

generally child supt. covers food, clothing, housing, at the house of other parent. it is clearly not enough to cover all expenses.

the statute was amended in 2012 to say that in addition the supt. the paying parent can be ordered to contribute to school expenses, medical expenses, activities. usually these are divided equally or in ratio of income.

if she wants more money from you, let her file the petition. also, under 5/510 she only gets the money from the date of notice of the petition, not for expenses previously incurred.

Luke D. Kazmar

Luke D. Kazmar

Posted

Unless we are talking windfall. Then guideline will pay for all that and a bar of gold. Until we get accounting, you never really know where it goes. Several states actually have an accounting provision built in. IL lack of formula is sad--but the rumbling is that we are heading in a more math-oriented direction.

Gary L. Schlesinger

Gary L. Schlesinger

Posted

where do you come up with this? the existing order is child supt. period. other parent wants other stuff. without a court order to pay it, asker need not pay the other stuff. but if other parent goes to court to request payment of other items, the statutes now permit that. there is case law that payor is not entitled to an accounting. illinois does have a formula, in is in 505.

Luke D. Kazmar

Luke D. Kazmar

Posted

formula which integrates % spent with each parent? formula which takes ratio of incomes? anyhow, my comprehensive answer was the longer of the two heretofore posted.

Gary L. Schlesinger

Gary L. Schlesinger

Posted

length of answer does not correlate with correctness of answer. what you propose concerning ratio of income is called the income shares approach. many states have it. we do not. rumor has it that the family law task force proposed legislation to completely re do the family law statutes includes income shares approach. the bill has not yet been introduced. as to percent of time, there are some cases that say it can be considered. the problem is that if support is based on per cent of time and if one parent does not utilize all that time, the support is not correct. see reppen-sonnenshine from the second district.

Posted

In order for your former wife to seek payment for extracurricular activities, educational expenses, auto insurance and the like, she will have to file a petition seeking contribution to these expenses. They are, in fact, expenses which are not covered by standard child support.

Posted

The other attorneys are correct on the law--but that law is extremely vague and any lawyer worth his/her salt will argue opposite positions. You should be more concerned about the law’s application and less concerned with its vague content.

I suggest you do a cost/benefit analysis. In the end, just about anything can qualify as child support, if the case is advocated skillfully. But do you want to “shell out” legal fees to save yourself an "insurance expense." I assure you will not show up once and win on that day.

I presume the insurance would not be extreme. See if you can cut a deal with her. You won't find a case/statute you could pass the judge and be proclaimed the winner. Even if the case is done by yourself [pro se], the hassle of going to multiple court appearances is not worth it--time benefit of money.

Finally, what guarantees do you have that this is the only basis your ex will state as the basis for an increase? For example, a Judge has discretion to increase support based purely on the increased age of the child. Does that sound appetizing?

And if you want to know what's covered under child support, I suggest you review the standard asset disclosure statement you filled out during the divorce--see what categories of child-related expenses are listed. You can't get more practical than that—transportation is specifically listed under “minor and/or dependent children.” It is “subcategory” of “educational expenses.” Any guarantee that your wife will not state that the car expenses are in the context of educational expenses...like driving to school/activity/etc.

Anyhow, let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks and good luck.

The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.

Posted

Think smarter, not harder. Look at your child support order to see what you're required to do. It varies by case. No order = no specific requirement.

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