Does Summer Vacation Affect Child Support?

With the end of the school year approaching quickly, summer is not too far in the offing. Vacation trips, days at the beach, barbeques, baseball games, and many other fun activities usually await.

For divorced parents, summer can necessitate modifications to a previously established child custody schedule in order to accommodate travel plans or extended periods of time where the child is with the parent who pays support. If you have questions about whether such summer custodial changes could affect child support, it could be advantageous to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer in Lake Bluff, IL.

Basic Principles

As a basic matter, a court uses established child support guidelines to craft an initial support order by reviewing the parents’ respective financial information and the amount of time that the child will spend with each parent to come up with a presumptive amount of support to be paid by the obligor. This amount, of course, is subject to adjustment for a variety of reasons, including how much time you and the other parent will have the child over the summer. As a general rule, you should adhere to the judicial decree as it relates to summertime child support in the absence of a court order changing the amount.

Modification of Summertime Support

If there has been a significant change in the amount of time that each parent will have the child over the summer, it may be possible to petition the court for a new standing child support order for the summer months through the filing of a motion to modify. As a practical matter, however, this would have to be initiated well in advance of the summer to allow for court docketing and a hearing to take place.

In some cases, a child support order can be modified due to the fact that the obligor has the child for a longer portion of the summer than was previously contemplated by the parties. If this issue has arisen in your parenting arrangement, an experienced family law practitioner could help navigate any possible modification.

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