The Illinois Child Support Statute: What You Need to Know

If you are a parent going through a divorce, you may be wondering how Illinois’ child support laws work and how your child may be affected. Perhaps you have been a stay-at-home parent before your divorce. You might be worried about financially providing for your child as a single, working parent after your divorce is finalized.

In Illinois, child support refers to periodic or ongoing payments that one parent makes to the other parent. Child support payments are intended to assist in the costs of raising a child. Illinois family courts use Illinois child support statutes to determine the child support amount required of one or both parents.

When do Illinois Family Courts Award Child Support?

Illinois’ child support statute requires courts to follow the statute’s formula for determining child support. In 2017, the Illinois legislature changed the statutory child support formula. Now, courts combine the net income of BOTH parents when calculating child support. Illinois courts use the following steps to determine child support amounts:

  • First, the court determines the net income of each parent and combines both incomes
  • Next, the court determines each parent’s percentage of the combined net income
  • The court uses the combined net income number into a pre-made chart to determine the monthly child support obligation amount
  • Next, the court will multiply that amount by each parent’s percentage of the net income
  • There is an additional multiplier of 1.5 added to the child support if the allocated parenting time with the child exceeds a set number of days per year making the amount of allocated parenting time important
  • The numbers that result will become each parent’s child support obligation

The Illinois statutory child support formula takes into account typical child-rearing costs, such as:

  • Food costs
  • Clothing costs
  • Transportation costs
  • Ordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Ordinary extracurricular activities
  • Education costs
  • Entertainment costs

Illinois Family Court Courts Deviate From the Statutory Formula in Some Cases

Generally, Illinois courts must apply the child support formula outlined in the Illinois child support statute. However, in some extraordinary circumstances, deviating from the statutory formula may be necessary. A family court judge can vary from the statutory guidelines if he or she determines that doing so is in the best interest of the child after considering the following factors:

  • The financial needs and responsibilities of the child
  • The educational, emotional, and physical needs of the child
  • The standard of living that the child would have experienced had the parents remained married

If You Have Concerns Related to Child Support in Illinois, We can Help

At Glasgow & Olsson, we understand how stressful divorce and custody issues can be on parents. Is your former spouse or partner refusing to pay child support? Would you like to adjust the amount of child support you pay or receive? We can help.

Our skilled Cook County child support attorneys can assertively advocate for your best interests. We represent clients with child support cases throughout Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Dupage counties. Contact our law office today to schedule your initial consultation.

(image courtesy of Kevin Gent)

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