Child support is a legal obligation the non-residential parent has to the residential parent. In Illinois, the amount the non-residential parent pays in child support is determined by statute. Child support is determined by calculating the non-residential parent’s net income. A certain percentage is then withheld from the non-residential parent’s net income for child support purposes. The percentage withheld is dependent upon how many children you have.
One Child = 20% of the net income
Two Children = 28% of the net income
Three Children = 32% of the net income
Four Children = 40% of the net income
Five Children = 45% of the net income
Six or More Children = 50% of the net income
Calculating a parent’s net income can be complex and it is important to find an attorney experienced with child support issues.
In certain circumstances, the Court will deviate from the statutory guidelines and require a parent to pay more or less of their net income in child support. If the non-residential parent makes a substantial amount of money where it would not be necessary to pay pursuant to the statutory guidelines, the Court may order a child support payment lower than that required by the guidelines. In situations that involve a child with special needs, the Court may require a parent to pay an amount that is more than that required by the guidelines.
It is important to note that child support is always modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This means that if the non-residential parent’s income changes (increases or decreases), the Court will modify the child support payment to match the current net income.
Many people assume that expenses such as extracurricular activities and educational expenses are included in child support. This is not true. The non-residential parent is often times required to contribute to these expenses in addition to making their child support payments.