How Child Support is Determined in Illinois (and Other Child Support Basics)
Even if they do not feel morally obligated to do so, parents of children have a legal obligation to provide financial support. This applies when a couple divorces, legally separates, or even if they were never married. If you are a parent in the state of Illinois about to go through a divorce or legal separation or have a child outside of marriage the following information can help you understand the basics of how this obligation to provide support may apply to your situation, and how it is determined.
Child Support in Divorce or Legal Separation
When two parents are married and then decide to divorce or legally separate, they must also go through several legal processes that involve the welfare of their child. These include the allocation of parental responsibilities, assignment of parenting time, and determination of child support. Of those, the child support determination is often the most straightforward. However, it can be just as filled with contention as other aspects of the divorce since child support may be – at least in part - determined in relation to the amount of parenting time each parent receives. Other factors that may be considered could include:
- The number of shared children;
- Financial resources and needs of the child;
- Financial resources and needs of each parent;
- Standard of living established during the marriage;
- Educational needs of the child;
- Health needs not covered by insurance;
- Child care expenses;
- Extracurricular activities; and
- Any other factors the court deems relevant.
Child Support for Children Born to Unwed Parents
While the process for determining child support is rather similar for parents who have never married, there are some factors that are different. For example, since there is no determination of parenting time included with a child support order of a child born to unwed parents, parenting time may not be a factor in determining the amount of child support to be paid. Still, the biological father or mother is obligated to provide support, and their income, the needs of the child, and healthcare, childcare, and educational expenses are often considered. Of course, if the biological father is the one being pursued for child support, and he contests his paternity, he may request genetic testing before an order is established.
Basic Formula for Calculating Child Support
When it comes to determining child support, a fairly straightforward formula is generally used as a minimum guideline. There are other factors that may cause the court to deviate from this formula (i.e. a special needs child with extensive medical or therapeutic needs), but they do not generally decrease the amount specified in the formula, which is as follows:
- If the couple shares one child, the supporting parent pays 20 percent of their net income;
- If the couple shares two children, the supporting parent pays 28 percent of their net income;
- If the couple shares three children, the supporting parent pays 32 percent of their income;
- If the couple shares four children, the supporting parent pays 40 percent of their net income;
- If the couple shares five children, the supporting parent pays 45 percent of their net income; and
- If the couple shares six or more children, the supporting parent pays 50 percent of their net income.
Our Illinois Family Lawyers Can Help with Your Child Support Issues
If you are filing for divorce and need help with a parenting plan and child support determination, or need help with a child support matter involving a child born outside of marriage, contact an experienced family law attorney in Geneva. Dedicated to your child’s best interest, we work to ensure that all factors are considered in your case. Discuss your unique situation with us by scheduling a consultation today.