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Naperville IL child support modification attorney2020 has been a difficult year for many families. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of stress for many people, requiring them to stay at home and avoid contact with others whenever possible. Parents have had to determine how to provide for their children’s educational needs as they learn from home or attend in-person classes part of the time, and they may have struggled to balance these concerns with the need to work from home or follow the proper safety measures while in public. On top of everything else, many parents have had to deal with financial difficulties due to layoffs, business closures, or restricted working hours. Divorced or separated parents will want to understand how changes to income or other financial obligations will affect the child support they pay or receive, and they may need to take steps to pursue a modification of their child support orders or other terms of their parenting plan.

Modifications Based on a Change in Circumstances

Typically, the terms of a divorce decree or child support order will only be changed if it can be demonstrated that a parent has experienced a significant change in circumstances. A change in the income earned by either parent will usually qualify as a significant change. For example, a job loss may cause a parent to be unable to meet their child support obligations, and they may ask for a reduction in the amount they will be required to pay. If a parent who receives child support suffers a loss in income, they may ask for an increase in the amount of child support payments to ensure that they can continue to meet their children’s financial needs.

Parents are required to continue to pay child support until a modification goes into effect. To ensure that they do not suffer legal consequences, a parent may need to use unemployment benefits, personal savings, or other financial resources to pay child support. If a parent owes child support, any COVID-19 stimulus payments they receive from the government may be intercepted and applied toward the amount owed.

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DuPage County parenting plan attorneysThis is the start of a new school year that is unlike any that students and parents have experienced before. With COVID-19 looming as a continuing threat, some schools are forgoing in-person classes or using a hybrid of remote and in-person learning. For students who are attending in person, parents must monitor their children’s health and news of possible outbreaks at the school. The ongoing health crisis makes it more important than ever that divorced or separated parents work together to make sure they are protecting their children, which may require reviewing and modifying their parenting plan.

How Does Remote Learning Affect Parenting Time?

Parents do not normally have to worry about parenting time when a child is at school, but remote learning means that parents must determine who will be with the child during their “school day” if the child is too young to be left on their own. You and your co-parent need to consider several factors:

  • Is one of you already going to be at home during the day?
  • Are you available to help your child if needed?
  • Can your child create a constructive learning space at your home?

It may turn out that the parent who is most available is not the one who normally has parenting time on school days. If the best situation for your child’s remote learning does not match your parenting plan, you will need to modify the plan.

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DuPage County Divorce AttorneysWith the way that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted society, it is understandable for you to wonder whether the courts are available to hear cases on divorce and other areas of family law. The good news is that courthouses in Illinois are open and operating—but with new rules that prioritize the safety of everyone attending. Courts are also taking advantage of video conferencing to limit the number of in-person meetings while still moving forward with cases. The 18th Judicial Circuit Court of DuPage County began hearing all cases again on June 8 with new guidelines that it will use for the foreseeable future.

Will I Have to Attend Court?

Most cases in DuPage County’s domestic relations court are being heard remotely rather than in person. The exceptions are for hearings involving orders of protection, extended trials, and cases that the court deems to be exigent. The court will judge whether a domestic relations case is urgent based on factors such as:

  • How long the case has been pending and the reason for the delay
  • Whether the case involves a dispute about parenting time
  • Whether there is an immediate risk of danger to minors
  • Whether there is an immediate risk of irreparable harm to the marital estate
  • Whether the case involves misconduct by one of the parties

What If I Am Required to Attend in Person?

The DuPage County Courthouse has strict requirements for those who enter to attend a hearing:

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