All parents are legally required to support their children. When parents are married, they directly support their offspring, but if they divorce, the state court may order one party to pay child support. If you are in this situation, it is essential to understand Illinois’s child support laws. Below are common child support questions we receive. If you have additional Illinois child support questions, our Chicago child support lawyers can help today.

How Is Child Support Determined In Illinois?

Illinois once used a percentage-based model to calculate child support, but today, an income shares model is used. The income shares model considers both parents’ incomes, among other factors when determining the child support payment.

You can check the Illinois Child Support Estimator to obtain a rough idea of the child support that may be required in your situation. However, this calculator should only be used as a guideline. For a closer estimate of your child support obligation, follow these steps:

  • Determine the net income for each parent: After determining gross income from all income sources, you can use the conversion table to determine net income. The primary deduction towards net income is taxes based upon a standardized tax rate. However, if your taxes are complex, you also can use individualized tax rate that reflect your specific situation.
  • Adjustments to net income for each parent: The formula lets you adjust if one or both parents support children from earlier relationships. There also can be an adjustment for alimony payments.
  • Child support payment: The income shares schedule will show the total child support required based on the adjusted net income for both parents. Each parent’s contribution toward that child support amount is based on the share of the combined net income.

What Are Possible Additions To Basic Child Support?

The family court judge also could require additions to the basic child support payment. The parents may agree to these additional payments, too:

  • Health insurance
  • Childcare
  • Educational expenses
  • The cost of extracurricular activities
  • Life insurance for one or both parents

Who Pays Child Support?

The child support calculations result in a payment that each parent should provide for the child. Generally, the party with most of the parenting time or the one with the lower income will receive the child support. The parent being paid the support does not need to account for how the money is spent, it is assumed it is used for food, shelter, and the like.

Does Shared Custody Affect The Child Support Payment?

In cases where the parent paying child support has the child in his or her possession for at least 146 nights annually, there may be a reduction in the amount of support due. In this scenario, the total child support payment should be multiplied by 1.5. Each parent’s part of the total child support obligation is according to their share of the combined income.

Contact Our Chicago Child Support Lawyers Today

Divorce is one of life’s most challenging parts, and child support questions can make the process more contentious. But with the assistance of your attorney, you can have a reasonable resolution to your child support issues. Contact our Chicago child support lawyers at Michael C. Craven for help at (312) 621-5234.

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