Divorce is a complex and emotional process, and it can take longer than you might expect to reach a final resolution. In Illinois, there are several factors that can contribute to a lengthy divorce process.
March 10, 2023
Child Support Guidelines in Illinois: How is Child Support Calculated
Child support guidelines in Illinois are designed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. The guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a fair and equitable system for determining child support payments.
Under Illinois law, both parents have a legal obligation to support their children. This obligation continues until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. In some cases, child support may continue beyond this age if the child has special needs or is disabled.
The amount of child support that a non-custodial parent must pay is determined based on a number of factors. These factors include the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent. The guidelines provide a formula for calculating child support, which takes into account these factors.
The first step in determining child support is to calculate the net income of both parents. This includes income from all sources, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and self-employment income. It also includes income from investments, rental properties, and any other sources of income.
Once the net income of both parents has been calculated, the next step is to determine the basic child support obligation. This is based on the number of children and the combined net income of both parents. The basic child support obligation is calculated using a chart provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
In addition to the basic child support obligation, the guidelines also take into account other expenses that may be incurred in raising children. These expenses include child care, education, and health care expenses. The guidelines provide for an additional amount to be added to the basic child support obligation to cover these expenses.
Once the basic child support obligation and any additional expenses have been calculated, the total amount of child support is divided between the parents based on their respective incomes. The non-custodial parent is typically responsible for paying the majority of the child support.
It is important to note that the guidelines are just that – guidelines. They are not set in stone, and the court has the discretion to deviate from them if it is in the best interests of the child. For example, if one parent has significant expenses related to the child that are not covered by the guidelines, the court may order the other parent to pay a higher amount of child support.
Another important factor to consider is the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. If one parent has the child for a significant amount of time, the court may adjust the child support payments accordingly. This is known as a deviation from the guidelines.
In addition to the basic child support obligation, parents may also be required to contribute to the child's college expenses. Illinois law allows the court to order parents to pay for their child's college education, provided that the child is a full-time student and is making satisfactory academic progress.
In conclusion, child support guidelines in Illinois are designed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. The guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a fair and equitable system for determining child support payments. If you have questions about child support in Illinois, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process.
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, and having a skilled attorney to represent you can make all the difference.
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, especially when children are involved. In some cases, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to represent the best interests of the child or children during the divorce proceedings