We were talking about child support and collection practices in Illinois in our last post. When a non-custodial parent fails to make timely or regular support payments, the custodial parent and children are, unsurprisingly, at risk. What people may lose sight of, though, is that the single-parent family is at risk sometimes even if support is current.
It's no surprise to anyone that child custody has changed. Since the mid-1970s, when the nation's first joint parenting law was passed, the number of mothers awarded sole custody has declined. Before that, in Lake County and elsewhere, the mother had to be dead, in jail or mentally ill before the court would give a father sole custody, or so one family law expert says.
This may not be news to parents, but the cost of raising a child in the United States has gone up over the past few years. Divorced parents working on child support agreements may be surprised to learn that an annual report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has some influence on Illinois child support guidelines.