August is Child Support Awareness Month
In support of August being Child Support Awareness Month in Illinois, the following is important information regarding child support in Illinois:
Child support is paid by the parent not having physical custody of the child or children. The non-custodial parent is the parent who may have visitation with the child or children, and with whom the child or children does not primarily reside. Depending on your circumstances, the amount of child support that you pay will vary.
Here are answers to five common questions:
1) If I was never married to my child’s mother or father, how does child support work?
If the parties were never married, the first step in establishing child support is to determine paternity. A person may be adjudicated the father in a few different ways, including: by executing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, by agreement of the parties, or by undergoing a paternity test. Once paternity is established, child support can then be awarded.
2) How is child support calculated?
In Illinois, child support is based on a statutory amount of the non-residential parent’s net income, as follows:
One child – 20%
Two children – 28%
Three children – 32%
Four children – 40%
Five children – 45%
Six or more children – 50%
In certain circumstances child support will deviate from the statutory amount but you should speak with a Chicago child support attorney or a Chicago divorce attorney familiar with child support procedures to get more information.
3) Can my child support payments be taken straight from my paycheck?
Yes, you can have electronic deductions for child support taken from your paycheck and sent to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, or SDU. The SDU will then forward these payments directly to the custodial parent.
4) Can I deduct child support payments from my taxes?
There are a few different types of child support payments, including straight child support, unallocated support, and allocated support.
Straight child support means you are paying a percentage of your net income, as listed above. This cannot be deducted from your taxes.
Unallocated support can be paid when a former spouse is paying both child support and maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”). With unallocated support, the payor spouse pays a certain amount or percentage of his or her income. This entire amount is deductible from the payor spouse’s taxes and is includable as income to the payee spouse.
Allocated support payments are also when a spouse is paying both maintenance and child support. The difference here is that the parties separate the payments so that the payor spouse pays a percentage of his or her net income in child support and a separate amount in maintenance. Only the maintenance payments are deductible on the payor spouse’s taxes.
To learn the benefits and consequences of these options, please contact us, Chicago Child Support Attorneys.
5) I lost my job/have a lower paying job, can I change my child support payments?
Yes, child support is always modifiable. To modify child support, there must be a substantial change in circumstances. A decrease of pay or loss of a job amounts to a substantial change in circumstances. In most instances, you should never be paying more than the statutory amount of child support (percentage of your current net income).
Contact us, Greenberg & Sinkovits, Child Support Attorney and Custody Attorneys, with further questions. Our firm handles cases not only in Cook County and Chicago, but also Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Will County.