Single Mom, Seeking Advice on New Employment and Attorney Reco

Updated on August 29, 2006
D.D. asks from Crest Hill, IL
4 answers

Hi everyone! I am a single mom of a three year old (boy) who just ended a 10 year relationship with my son's father and who is now moving into an apartment. I am scared to death about the move, but welcome the opportunity because the environment will obviously be healthier for us. Part of the problem is that even though I am currently employed, my compensation is not enough to make ends meet (I have to admit I am concerned about the possiblity of being evicted). In fact, the pay is so low that I don't even know how I have managed to make it this far.

I would love to find a new job that pays me a reasonable amount of money (mid to upper 30K,given that I have a Master's). Although my background is Communication Disorders and Sciences (Speech Pathology), I would not mind working in a cosmetic dentistry office or even medical billing. The problem is that given my background, I do not have the necessary experience to work in either of these fields...however, I am extremely trainable and would like to connect with someone who would be willing to train me. I currently work in Hillside and it would be ideal if I could find a job close to home (my new place of residence will be in Crest Hill). Does anyone have any connections or suggestions?

My other issue is that I am definitely going to pursue child support. Many of my peers have suggested that I pursue it through the state- others have stated that I should hire a private attorney. I am already in the system (I have a medical card because my job does not offer insurance), and I have applied and have been granted child care subsidy. I don't know what to's not that my son's father does not want to pay child support, but I want to make sure that my son receives the amount of money he deserves.

I'm just a bit concerned...any suggestions that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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answers from Chicago on

why are you not looking into options as a speech therapist? You could make well above $50,000 in a school system and have great hours and benefits and have summers off. If you went private practice or EI you would work all year and make even more. It seems a waste to not use your degree when you have such great potential and there is a HUGE shortage in all surrounding communities. Plus, why sell yourself for less than you are worth. Your quality of life for you and your son could be great, if you put forth a little effoft. Try or links from the ASHA website. I have friends who work as SLPA's and make over $40,000 just assisting. Another option is teaching in you field in a SPLA program. COD has a great program. With a masters degree you could teach and probably pick and choose your hours. I hardly think the position you are contemplating would be better.



answers from Chicago on

Take it from me I have assisted in 300+ child support cases in Illinois alone GO WITH THE STATE. I can give you pointers on what you will need in addition to what the state will give you and it will all be free. A private attorney will charge you a lot and only give you what you yourself could do for's a waste of money for a single mom. Feel free to email me with any questions I would be glad to help you out.

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answers from Raleigh on

Hi D.,
I can't help you on the job front, but I know a little about child support, since I just got a court order for it a couple weeks ago.
I am a supporter of child support being paid through ths state.
The advantage of going through SDU (state disbursement unit) is that your son will receive the amount he is supposed to (generally 20% of his father's income), and if your ex gets an attitude, you won't have to worry about him ever paying. The state takes the child support directly from his paycheck -- though it's not viewed as a garnishment. Your ex will have proof it was paid so it protects him, too.

Because you are already in the state's system, they will work with you to collect child support. You can visit IL's Child support website at

You can also go to a consult with a private attorney to find out what your options are. MOST private lawyers offer a free consultation. You can find a lawyer through your county bar association or through referrals here on Mamasource. WILL COUNTY BAR ASSN:

You seem torn because you feel your ex would pay the child support willingly. This may be true, but you never know what the future will bring. Generally, for one child, the father has to pay 20% of his income. Did you know that Illinois also allows for the father to pay a percentage of the daycare expenses, in addition to child support?

My ex has to pay child support and the court also ordered him to pay 48% of my son's child care expenses. It might sound like a lot... but raising a child is expensive. The amount of money I get for my son between daycare money and child support gives me enough resources to know I don't have to put my son in a hovel for a daycare and that I don't have to worry about him not having enough to eat or clothes that fit properly.

Just remember that whether you go through a lawyer, the state collecting for you, or privately -- you are your son;s advocate and have to speak up for his needs because nobody else will.



answers from Chicago on

Are you a certified speech pathologist/speech language therapist? Could you get certification for such thing?? I know that many school districts and special education cooperatives (like the one I work for) always need speech/language therapists to work with special needs children. The pay is fabulous...mid 40's at some places. Is this something that you could consider? Working for the schools has an added bonus because of the hours. Perfect for a working parent.

Good luck!

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