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What Factors Affect the Amount of Child Support Ordered in Illinois?

Posted on in Child Support

Rolling Meadows child support lawyerThe determination of child support is an important legal issue for any divorcing or unmarried parent of children under the age of 18. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has established a standard calculation used to determine each parent’s obligation. However, because every family’s circumstances are different, the results of the calculation, and even whether the court decides to use the standard calculation at all, often vary. You should be sure to understand the various factors that go into child support decisions so that you have an idea of what your obligation may be.

Factors Considered in the Basic Child Support Calculation

In most Illinois child support cases, the HFS calculation is at least used as a baseline. This calculation accounts for a variety of factors, including:

  • Each parent’s monthly net income. This is the most important factor in calculating child support. The two parents’ monthly net incomes will be combined, and each parent’s obligation will be determined in large part based on their share of the combined income.

  • Each parent’s share of parenting time. If one parent has sole or primary custody, the other parent will likely be ordered to pay child support. However, if parenting time is shared more equally, the child support calculation will be adjusted based on the percentage of overnight stays that each parent has.

  • The number of children entitled to support. The amount of child support ordered will be adjusted upward in cases involving more than one minor child.

  • A parent’s other child support or spousal support obligations. A parent’s monthly net income will often be adjusted downward if he or she has child support or spousal support obligations from a previous marriage or relationship, or if he or she is also ordered to pay spousal support to the other parent of the children in question.

When Does the Court Deviate From the Basic Calculation?

The court may decide to adjust the results of the basic calculation, or use a different method of determining child support, if it finds that doing so is in the best interests of the children. In making this decision, the court will consider factors including the financial needs and resources of both the children and the parents, the children’s expected standard of living in a two-parent household, and the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the children.

The court may also order additional child support beyond the basic calculation for some of the children’s needs, including health insurance and medical care, care for a child with special needs, expenses related to education and extracurricular activities, and the cost of child care for a parent who needs it in order to work or pursue an education.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions regarding how child support may apply given your family’s specific circumstances, an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney can help. We will work to ensure that your children’s needs are provided for, and that you understand your rights and obligations. Contact the Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation today.




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