Calculating Child Support Payments in Illinois

child support, Illinois Law, Arlington Heights family lawyerThe state of Illinois, like every state, recognizes the right of every child to receive support from both parents. While support can take many forms, it is impossible for any law to control the emotions of a parent, requiring them to show love, care, and compassion for the child. While such intangible forms of support should innate in most parents, the law can and often does mandate financial child support be provided and may require contribution from either or both parents.

Which Parent Pays Child Support?

Under Illinois law, a child’s present situation dictates which parent is required to pay child support. While the law does permit the court to require payments from both parents, the provision is usually invoked only in rare cases in which the child is not living with either parent. In most cases, contributions for child support are required from the parent without primary physical custody of the child or children.

Determining Payment Amount

In establishing the amount of child support a parent must pay, many states utilize a complex formula which takes into account both parents’ income, shared parenting responsibilities, and other factors. Illinois law, however, provides a simpler guideline which bases support payments primarily on the income of the paying parent and the number of children being supported. While many believe the system is not as equitable in Illinois as in other states, courts continue to be bound by the current law until it is changed by legislative action.

Considering the supporting parent’s net income, after allowable deductions, the law establishes recommended child support payments to be:

  • For 1 child, 20 percent of the parent’s income;
  • For 2 children, 28 percent;
  • For 3 children, 32 percent;
  • For 4 children, 40 percent;
  • For 5 children, 45 percent; and
  • For 6 or more children, 50 percent.

Mitigating Factors

While the law provides a clear method for calculating child support payments, the court is granted discretion to take into account the individual circumstances of the case to establish a sustainable order in the best interest of the child. Factors including the financial resources and needs of each parent, the established standard of living, and the physical, mental, educational, and emotional needs of the child can impact the amount of support actually ordered.

If you are involved in a case related to child support and would like to know how a qualified lawyer can help, contact our office today. As an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney, Donald J. Cosley is committed to securing the best interest of children and families throughout the greater Chicago area. Call (847) 253-3100 to schedule your free consultation.

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