Illinois Child Support Obligations

child support, support order, DuPage County Family LawyerAn action or an order for child support is not often a surprise to a divorced or unmarried parent. Most parents understand the child’s need for financial support and the expectation that both parents should contribute toward it. What many parents do not understand, however, is the method under which child support obligations are calculated in Illinois, which can lead to surprise and disbelief regarding the amount of the order depending on the situation.

Percentage of Obligor Income

Illinois law, currently, operates under what many consider to be relatively outdated formula of calculating child support. Called the “percentage of obligor income” model, the current system computes a support obligation based on the income of the supporting parent and the number of children to be supported. Other factors may be considered, but the resources and income of the custodial parent or the child are not quantitatively factored into the calculation. Similarly, shared custody and parenting time do not directly impact the court’s decision.

Calculations under Illinois Law

The starting point for any child support calculation in Illinois is the net income of the supporting parent, or obligor. Net income is defined as the individual’s total income minus allowable deductions, including taxes, Social Security, mandated retirement contributions, union dues, and others as specified by law. Of his or her net income, the obligor can expect a support order to require payment in the amount of:

  • 20 percent for 1 child;
  • 28 percent for 2 children;
  • 32 percent for 3 children;
  • 40 percent for 4 children;
  • 45 percent for 5 children; and
  • 50 percent for 6 or more children.

The court may order an amount of support be paid that differs from the set percentage based on the consideration of several factors. By law, these factors include:

  • The financial resources and needs of the child and each parent;
  • The established standard of living, and reasonable expectations for the child if the parents had stayed together; and
  • The physical, emotional, mental, and educational needs of the child.

In addition, the court may find it appropriate to require the supporting parent to also contribute toward health related expenses, child care costs, educational costs, and extracurricular activities.

Help With Your Child Support Order

If you have recently received notice of an action for child support and are unsure of what to expect a qualified child support lawyer can help you throughout the process. Contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today and we will work with you to ensure your order properly balances your child’s needs with your financial resources and requirements. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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