Aggressive Child Support Attorneys in Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, and Throughout Cook County
All good parents want the best for their children, and for most non-custodial parents, that means paying regular child support. Illinois is one of ten family law jurisdictions that uses a percentage-of-income model to determine a parent's child support obligation. Even though the formula itself is rather straightforward, it can be difficult to calculate a person's income. As the so-called "second economy" continues to emerge and more people work a series of freelance or part-time jobs, as opposed to one regular full-time job, these challenges will become even more pronounced.
At Glasgow & Olsson, we are committed to the idea that divorce should not be an undue financial hardship on anyone, including the children. We make it a priority to see that the court initially sets a fair child support amount. Almost inevitably, there will be a need to change the amount or an enforcement action of an existing order. When these things happen, we work diligently to reach the best possible solution for you and your family.
Child Support in Illinois
Illinois' child support guidelines designate a fixed percentage of the obligor's net income for basic child support, beginning at 20 percent for one child and ending at 50 percent for six or more children. Unemployed persons still have a duty to pay child support. The judge has the discretion to deviate from the guidelines if such an adjustment is in the best interest of the children. Specifically, the court can consider:
- Both parents' financial needs and resources;
- The childrens' financial needs and resources;
- Any special physical, mental, educational or emotional needs of a child; and
- The standard of living the children would have had if the parents were living together.
Basic child support is intended to cover the children's basic needs, such as clothes, shelter, and food. The court may divide additional expenses between the parents, such as medical care, child care, and extracurricular activities. This division is generally, though certainly not always, on a 50-50 basis.
If an obligor has only one regular W-2 job, net income is fairly easy to calculate. However, if an obligor has several jobs, or receives income from nontraditional sources, like freelance jobs, rents, or royalties, it is important to have an experienced advocate who can wade through the different numbers and get to the heart of the matter. The net income on a 1040 is not necessarily the same thing as net income for child support. Certain payroll deductions, most notably voluntary retirement contributions, are not deducted from gross income for child support purposes.
If an obligor becomes delinquent, there are a number of ways to collect past due child support. The amount can generally be modified if financial circumstances have permanently changed, and the modification is in the best interest of the children.
Child support is an important part of a divorce settlement. Contact our attorneys today at (847) 577-8700 for your consultation. The law firm of Glasgow & Olsson serves families throughout Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, and the rest of the surrounding Chicago communities.