Information on Child Support in Illinois

Parents have a responsibility to contribute to the financial support of their children.  Under Illinois law, divorce does not relieve a parent of parental rights and responsibilities, therefore financial support of children continues after a marriage dissolves.

As part of the divorce process, a family court will make determinations regarding child custody and whether one parent must provide the other with child support in Illinois.  Child support payments help to cover basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing.  In some instances, child support agreements may include contributions to things such as education, medical expenses, child care, or extracurricular activities.  Once a court determines the amount of child support, it will issue a Uniform Order of Support, which sets out amounts, payment schedules, and penalties for missed payments among other things.

 Talk to your attorney for help understanding child support in Illinois.

How much child support will I have to pay?

Child support amounts are generally determined based on the paying parent’s net income.  Net income means a person’s income after the deductions of the following:

  • Federal and state income taxes
  • FICA payments
  • Health insurance premiums for both individual and dependent plans
  • Union dues
  • Mandatory retirement contributions
  • Certain life insurance premiums
  • Other court-ordered child support payments for other children

Once your net income is determined, the child support amount will be based on minimum percentages of your net income set out in Illinois law.  The minimum percentage of your income that you will have to pay depends on how many children you must support.  For example, you will have to pay at least 20% of your income if you are supporting one child, at least 28% of your income for two children, and up to 50% of your income for six or more children.

 It may sometimes seem difficult to keep up with your child support obligations, however if you fall behind in your payments, you could face serious consequences.  These consequences include late fees, wage garnishment, and even criminal prosecution.  You could face criminal charges under certain circumstances, such as owing more than $5,000 in unpaid support, willfully withholding payments for over one year, moving from state to state to avoid payments, or otherwise using fraud or false information to avoid payment.  If you are convicted, you may face years on probation or even jail time if you continue to fail to pay.

 An experienced Illinois child support attorney can help to make sure you receive a fair child support determination and that you can afford to make the payments.  Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. for help in your child support case today.

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