Child Support

What is child support?

Child support payments are usually paid by a parent with a higher income to a parent with a lower income to give the child(ren) the benefit of their parents’ combined incomes. The amount of child support one parent owes the other is not determined by a percentage of income. Instead, in Illinois, the Court applies a formula to both parents’ incomes and the number of overnights the child(ren) spend in each parent’s home, which results in a number that provides a “guideline” for support. Sometimes, the Court may make changes to the guideline amount by taking into account such factors as what the child(ren)’s standard of living would be had the parents remained married and living in one household together, the physical and emotional state and needs of the child(ren), the educational needs of the child(ren), and the financial resources of the parents.

Am I owed child support?

The first step in determining whether you are entitled to receive child support payments from your co-parent is to apply both parents’ income information to the state-approved formula, called the Illinois “Income Shares” Guidelines.

How can I get child support?

If you believe you are owed child support but have not received an order requiring it, or you know that you are owed Court-ordered payments that were never received, we can assist you in filing a petition seeking the Court to compel your co-parent to make these payments. Conversely, if you have had a decrease in income that is likely to be permanent and you have been unable to come to an agreement with your co-parent on your own, we can assist you in asking the Court to reduce your payments.

The Long and Short of It

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