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How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois? 

Posted on in Family Law

wheaton divorce lawyerParents going through a divorce in Illinois may experience some understandable anxiety when faced with the prospect of making or receiving child support payments. The paying parent may worry whether they will be able to afford their payments and sustain their current standard of living. The receiving parent may worry that payments will not get made and that their children will suffer as a result. 

Illinois courts and judges take many factors into account when establishing a parent’s child support obligations. Understanding how these decisions are made is an important part of planning for your financial future. In this blog, we will explain the methods generally used to determine child support payments. It is important to remember that the exact calculation can be a lengthy and complex process, and the best person to answer your questions is an experienced Illinois family law attorney. 

What Factors Does a Court Consider Regarding Child Support? 

Courts can consider many factors, but the most important consideration is always the best interests of the child. In addition, the court can consider the following:

  • The number of children a couple shares

  • How much money each parent makes

  • Access to any other personal financial resources parents may have, such as savings accounts, social security payments, or trust funds

  • How much parenting time each parent has with the children 

  • Any child support or spousal maintenance obligations from previous marriages

  • Child care expenses 

  • School expenses and extracurricular activity expenses

  • Medical expenses

There are calculators designed to help parents estimate their monthly child support obligations, but these are not necessarily indicative of the amount the court will order a parent to pay. A judge can deviate from the state guidelines if the payments would be inequitable, unjust, or inappropriate. For example, if a father has many children from multiple partners and the state guidelines for child support payments would put the father in jeopardy of living below the poverty level, a judge may deviate from the guidelines. 

How is Child Support Calculated? 

Child support payments are calculated using an “income shares schedule.” This model takes each parent’s net income and adds them together to find the parents’ adjusted combined net income. Then, using an estimation of $1,215 per child per month, multiplied by the number of children, the court will add additional expenses to come up with a total monthly support obligation for all the children. 

Then the parents will divide that obligation between the parents in proportion to their share of the combined net income. 

Speak with an Arlington Heights, IL Child Support Attorney

Understanding a court’s methods and guidelines when determining child support can help you set reasonable expectations and make informed decisions. At A. Traub & Associates, an experienced Cook County child support attorney will make the entire divorce process easy to understand and will advocate passionately for your interests. Call us today at 847-749-4182 to schedule your initial confidential consultation. 





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