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What parents might consider when filing for child support

38127290_s.jpgSome parents in Illinois who are divorced or who were never married to the other parent might wonder whether they should file for child support. Some may hesitate to do so because this can mean that the other parent has the right to see the child. However, the other parent may eventually exercise this right whether or not the custodial parent asks for support.

Parents should make the decision that is in the best interests of the child. This can mean letting the child have a relationship with the other parent even if the parents' relationship with one another is not good. The child's relationship with each parent is often positive despite this.

Parents should keep in mind that even if they are hesitant to ask for child support, the child has the right to receive support from both parents. Parents who are able to manage the child's expenses alone should ask themselves if this will always be the case. As the child gets older, the parent may want help with medical and dental expenses, the costs of extracurricular activities and even college tuition costs. Parents should not rely on what they hear from others about the rights and responsibilities regarding child support, custody and visitation. They should do some research to ensure that they understand state laws.

A parent might also get a better understanding of the legal context after talking to an attorney. The attorney may explain how child support and visitation are determined and may help the parent negotiate a visitation agreement. The legal system might also help the parent if the other parent stops paying support. This could include garnishing that parent's wages. However, a custodial parent cannot deny the other parent visitation rights even if the parent has fallen behind on support payments.

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