Will You Have to Pay Child Support After an Illinois Divorce?

The wife of a former Chicago Bulls player decides that it is time to pull the plug on their marriage. During their marriage, she quit her job so she could support her husband’s all-consuming NBA career. She took care of their home and their three children while he traveled to and from games. During her marriage she enjoyed an affluent lifestyle, and she is concerned that she and her children will not be able to maintain their lifestyle if she gets divorced. Also, she is wondering if she will lose her child support if she gets remarried down the road.

Illinois’ Child Support Laws

When we meet with new clients considering divorce, they often ask us whether they will be entitled to child support. Under Illinois law, judges must use specific formulas to calculate how much child support one parent must pay the other parent. First, the court must determine whether one parent must pay child support at all.

In most cases, when children share time with their parents, the person who earns less money will receive child support. However, this is not always the case. Other factors can come into play, such as additional expenses like health insurance payments and the assets owned by each parent during the marriage. Illinois used to use flat percentages based on the number of children, but they no longer use the system. Now, courts use a six-step formula to decide whether one parent needs to pay child support and how much that parent needs to pay.

  • Determine each parent’s net income
  • Combine both parents’ net income
  • Determine what percentages of the combined net income is represented by each parent’s net income
  • The combined net income from Step 2 will be put into an income shares chart to determine the basic child support obligation
  • The court will multiply the resulting number by the percentages from step three for each parent
  • The resulting numbers will be each parent’s child support obligations. The financial contribution of the non-paying parents will be presumed to be already applied. The paying parent’s number is what he or she must pay in child support to the non-paying parent.

Illinois family court judges try to keep the child’s standard of living the same as they move back and forth between two homes. When one parent has quit his or her job and has no income, and the other spouse has a significant income, the stay-at-home parent is more likely to get significant child support. Getting remarried does not affect child support payments unless the spouse who pays child support petition the court to modify the child support agreement based on a significant change in circumstances.

Contact an Illinois Child Support Lawyer Today

The process for determining child support payments is somewhat complicated. If you have questions about child support, the best thing you can do is speak with an experienced family law attorney.

If you are a high net worth individual and are considering a divorce in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is here to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. We do not provide a free consultation because we view your initial consultation as the most important meeting you will have regarding your divorce. Contact us today to learn how we can represent you.

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