Illinois Law and Your Obligations for Child Support

child support, Aurora family law attorneyWhen you have a child, you know that you have certain responsibilities regarding his or her upbringing. When you have a child with someone to whom you are no longer married, it often becomes much more difficult to live up to those responsibilities. Orders of child support have become commonplace in Illinois and throughout the country, with most parents realizing their children deserve, at the very least, financial support from both parents, regardless of the marital situation. But do you know how courts in Illinois determine child support obligations? In most cases, the calculations are pretty straightforward.

Basic Child Support Guidelines

While either parent—and in rare cases, both parents at the same time—can be required to pay child support, the supporting parent is usually the one with less parental responsibilities or parenting time. Calculating a child support order begins with a baseline determination that is based on the supporting parent’s net income and the number of children being supported. A supporting parent is expected to pay:

  • 20 percent of his or her net income to support one child;
  • 28 percent to support two children;
  • 32 percent to support three children;
  • 40 percent to support four children;
  • 45 percent to support five children; and
  • 50 percent to support six or more children.

Net income is statutorily defined as well. It consists of all income from all sources, minus a number of expressly-permitted deductions. Such deductions include federal and state taxes, Social Security contributions, required union dues, health insurance premiums, previous child support and spousal maintenance obligations, and other expenses specifically related to the generation of income.

Court Discretion

Once the basic calculation has been done, the court may decide that the result is too much or not enough, based on the family’s circumstances. Relevant factors include the resources and needs of each parent and the child, as well as the standard of living the child could have expected if the parents were still together. If the court does deviate from the provided guideline, a specific finding must be entered to explain exactly why.

The court may also increase the supporting parent’s child support obligation to share the costs of:

  • Health care needs not covered by insurance, including deductibles and copayments.
  • Daycare or babysitting;
  • Education-related needs; and
  • Extracurricular activities, including sports, scouting, music, and others.

Dependable Legal Help

Proceedings for child support can be extremely confusing and intensely personal. That is why you need the assistance of an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call [[phone]] today to schedule your confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. We will work hard to protect your rights every step of the way.



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