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Calculating Child Support Obligations in Illinois

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child support, Illinois law, Will County Child Support LawyersIf you have a child and do not live with the child's other parent, you probably realize that you may be subject to a court requirement regarding child support. By law, both parents can be ordered to provide financial child support, but that is rarely the case. It is much more common that the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not have primary residential custody of the child, is ordered to pay. It is important to understand how the court calculates such requirements so that you can be better prepared to meet your obligations.

Percentage of Obligor of Net Income

The current laws regarding child support in the state are contained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, though they apply to parents who were never married as well. While many believe the existing provisions are a bit outdated in light of changing social and financial realities, proposed changes have yet to gain serious traction. Under the law, the amount that the paying party is expected to pay is to be based on his or her net income and the number of children requiring support. More specifically, a non-custodial parent can expect to be ordered to pay:

  • 20 percent of his or her net income for 1 child;
  • 28 percent for 2 children;
  • 32 percent for 3 children;
  • 40 percent for 4 children;
  • 45 percent for 5 children; and
  • 50 percent for 6 children.

What Is Net Income?

Counting children, of course, is easy. Determining net income, however, is a little more difficult. According to the law, for the purposes of child support calculations, a party's net income is his or her total income from all sources minus:

  • Calculated or estimated federal income tax;
  • Calculated or estimated state income tax;
  • Social Security or FICA payments;
  • Retirement contributions required by law or by an employer;
  • Union dues;
  • Health insurance premiums, and life insurance premiums if ordered to secure child support payments;
  • Payments made from state agencies for foster care;
  • Other child support or spousal maintenance obligations, including those to the parent who would receive the support currently in question; and
  • Expenses or payments on debts incurred to produce income, cover medical costs, or provide reasonable benefit to the child or other parent.

The last point is often the most contested in child support proceedings. Debts that are considered reasonable and necessary to one party may seem to be wasteful to another. In many cases, the court must intervene and make a determination.

Circumstantial Factors

The framework provided by law is meant offer a baseline calculation for the court. The exact situation of each individual family is to be considered as well, and the court may deviate from the guidelines if necessary. The obligation may be increased if the needs of the child require it, or decreased if the parent's ability to meet the obligation is justifiably compromised.

Proceedings for child support can extremely complicated and very stressful. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., however, we work hard to make the process easier for all involved parties. Contact an experienced family law attorney in Joliet today to find out how we can help you provide for your child in a way that works best for your current situation.


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