312.782.2220 Make A Payment contact us

Recognizing Child Support Awareness Month


Published on August 7th, 2020

The month of August marks Child Support Awareness Month. This nationally recognized annual observance was initiated in 1995 by former President Bill Clinton in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE). The CSE has been instrumental over the years in serving and supporting America’s children, providing services to promote self-sufficiency and parental responsibility, and strengthening families by securing financial support.

Today, we continue to recognize this initiative by acknowledging the vital role that financial support plays in the lives of children. Child Support Awareness Month is a time to appreciate the federal, state, and local agencies that work tirelessly to serve children and their families, and to consider ways to aid the mission of their current programs.

The recognition of parents who support their children is an additional aspect of Child Support Awareness Month. Diligently paying child support and active involvement in a child’s life builds a healthy foundation for that child.

The Importance of Child Support

Financial support is a right that is due to every child; however, child support fosters more than just monetary assistance. Regardless of their relational circumstances, both parents have a responsibility and legal obligation to provide financial and emotional support to their children.

Over the years, studies have shown time and time again the positive impact of having both parents actively involved in raising children – and this can be particularly true in the case of divorced parents and in the case of parents who never married and do not live together. The children can benefit in so many ways, including academically, socially, and developmentally.

When child support is received consistently, it can provide the lifelong comfort of knowing his/her parents prioritized their needs and well-being.

To put it simply, child support improves the path to a child’s future.

Additionally, child support helps to reduce poverty and public spending while supporting family self-sufficiency among children and custodial parents. Government programs, such as the CSE, and agencies like the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), strive to cultivate parental cooperation and understanding of this process and its crucial effect on the future of children.

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

Although Child Support Awareness Month promotes the collective goal of seeking out and providing child support, each state differs in the implementation of this goal.

As of 2017, Illinois calculates child support using the income shares model. This method is based on the average expenses of raising a child for a family at a similar income level to what they would have if the parents cohabitated. The net incomes of both parents are combined after applying a standard set of deductions, along with identifying the number of children the parents share. From this, a basic support obligation is determined, and a presumptive child support obligation is prorated between the parents based on their percentage of the combined income. Other factors may adjust this calculation, such as the number of overnights each parent enjoys during the calendar year.

Failing to comply with a court order or judgment to pay child support not only negatively impacts the child and parent relying on the support to provide for the basic needs of the child, but the negative impact may extend to the payor (the parent responsible for paying child support) as well. Consequences that may befall the non-paying party can include wage garnishments, restrictions of driving privileges and travel, and even incarceration.

In many cases, the payor makes a unilateral decision to forego making child support payments because they believe the payee (the parent receiving the support) is using the money inappropriately for him/herself rather than for the support of the children. Child Support Awareness Month fights to end that misconception with programs designed to educate parents on their financial obligations, including why child support is a necessity for the payee to support the child.

Advocating Child Support Awareness Month at Davis Friedman

At Davis Friedman, we are dedicated to assisting parents in obtaining the economic support necessary for their children to thrive in a stable environment. As a frequently complicated issue in the context of a divorce or family law case, child support often requires the help of experienced counsel.

Whether you are a parent seeking support or you need help modifying or enforcing support, our respected Chicago family law attorneys are here to expertly navigate the complexities of your child support situation.

Contact Davis Friedman to learn more about how we can help.

Have questions? Contact us about working together.

312.782.2220 or Contact Us