Child Support Considerations: How Does Illinois Calculate My Net Income?

net income, child support, Illinois Child Support AttorneyWhen you are expected to pay child support, it important to understand how such obligations will affect your own financial situation. Providing for your children is, of course, a very high priority, but you must also be sure you are familiar with the law and how your child support requirement will be determined. While much of the law is fairly straightforward, there are a number of complexities that may require the assistance of a qualified family law attorney.

Basic Child Support Calculations

As specified in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, either or both parents may be ordered by the court to pay child support. Most commonly, the court will require the parent without primary physical custody to provide financial support in accordance with the guidelines in the law. The paying parent is expected to pay a designated percentage of his or her net income, based on the number of children to be supported. Circumstantial considerations may be made by the court to allow for some deviation from the statutorily prescribed percentage.

What is Net Income?

In many child support cases, determining a parent’s net income is more complicated than one might anticipate. Your net income is simply your normal take-home pay, right? According to the law, that is not exactly true. Instead, the law provides that your net income is your total income from all sources minus specifically-permitted deductions. These deductions include:

  • Federal and state income tax;
  • Social Security payments;
  • Required retirement contributions, either mandated by law or as a condition of employment;
  • Union dues;
  • Health insurance premiums;
  • Life insurance premiums for policies ordered by the court to secure child support payments;
  • Obligations for child support or spousal maintenance previously ordered by the court in other cases;
  • Maintenance obligations to the custodial parent to whom the current child support will be payable; and
  • Other justifiable expenses for producing income, providing medical care, or to benefit the child and the other parent.

The last deduction can be a point of contention in a large number of situations. For example, if you are an independent contractor who provides snow removal services, you may wish to deduct the cost of insurance on your plow truck as it is necessary for the production of your income. While such intent seems reasonable, it is not explicitly included in the law, so you and your attorney may need to convince the court to permit the deduction.

It is also important to realize that income is more than your salary or wages. The statute provides that all sources of income must be considered and case law, over the years, has indicated that payments such as military housing allowances, non-recurring bonuses, and the exercising of stock options must all be included.

For more information on child support laws in Illinois, contact a Rolling Meadows family law attorney. We will meet with you to discuss your situation and help you understand the law and your options. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule an appointment today.

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