What You Need to Know About Child Support in Illinois


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When a couple with children is considering divorce, it is important for both parties to understand the guidelines for child support. These guidelines vary depending on the state where the divorce takes place.

In Illinois, the guidelines for child support are straightforward and exceptions are rarely made. Parents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children. Traditionally, the residential (custodial) parent will receive child support from the non-residential (non-custodial) parent. The “residential parent” is defined as the parent who maintains the primary residence for the children.
Child support is not only funds for food and clothing. It is also for housing, transportation, activities, medical care and more.
A court will determine the minimum about of support by using the following guidelines:
                                                                              Percent of Supporting
                  Number of Children                             Party's Net Income
                                 1                                                            20%
                                 2                                                            28%
                                 3                                                            32%
                                 4                                                            40%
                                 5                                                            45%
                         6 or more                                                       50%

“Net income” is defined as the total of all income from all sources, minus the following typical deductions:
  1. Federal income tax;
  2. State income tax;
  3. Social Security (FICA payments);
  4. Mandatory retirement contributions required by law or as a condition of employment;
  5. Union dues; and
  6. Dependent and individual health/hospitalization insurance premiums.
The duty of support owed to a child includes the physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child. For purposes of child support, the term “child” includes any child under age 18 and any child under age 19 who is still attending high school.
The child support will be applied in each case unless the court makes a finding that application of the guidelines would be inappropriate after considering the best interests of the child in light of evidence including, but not limited to, one or more of the following relevant factors:
  1. the financial resources and needs of the child;
  2. the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;
  3. the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  4. the physical and emotional condition of the child, and his/her educational needs; and
  5. the financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.
While the court rarely deviates from the guidelines, the court’s finding will state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines, if determinable. The court must include the reason or reasons for the variance from the guidelines.
If you have children and are contemplating divorce, it is important to meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss child support and other matters. The Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., provides the experienced representation you need and the personal attention you deserve.