In Illinois, if you share a child with someone to whom you are not married, there is a good chance that at some point, either you or your coparent will have to pay child support. If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering if you are eligible to receive child support, or if you will be required to pay it. In Illinois, child support rules are laid out in 750 ILCS 5/505. We will delve into some important details below, but if you have questions regarding your own child support payments, or lack thereof, contact an experienced child support attorney in Chicago for a consultation.
Child support in Illinois is typically calculated based on the “income shares” model. This means that the Court will consider the incomes of both parents and the number of children to determine the amount of support for which each parent is responsible. Income may include wages, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and other sources. In some cases, if a parent is unemployed or underemployed by choice, but is capable of earning an income, an income will be imputed to that parent by the court (meaning the Court will use its best guess as to what that parent should be making), and that figure will be used to calculate child support.
Illinois has established guidelines that specify the percentage of the combined income that should be allocated to child support based on the number of children in a family. This basic child support obligation reflects the average amount of money parents in similar financial situations spend on their children. The state of Illinois has some online tools parents can use to get a sense of what their share of child support might be under the guidelines.
When parents share parenting time, this will affect the child support calculation. A parent who has almost all of the parenting time will receive a greater amount of child support than a parent who has 60% of the parenting time, for example.
Some people may not be aware that child support orders can be modified under certain circumstances. Either parent can request a modification of their child support order if they have undergone a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a change in the child’s needs. Perhaps one parent was laid off from their job, or the child received a diagnosis that requires costly medical treatment; in those cases, the court may consider amending the child support order so that its enforcement ensures the best interests of the child are looked after.
Keep in mind that family law can be complex, and the specifics of each case can vary. It is advisable to consult with a Chicago family law attorney for advice tailored to your specific situation. If you need to know how much child support you might be due, or how much child support you might be required to pay – whether you and your coparent are currently seeking divorce or were never married, an experienced lawyer can help you figure that out, and advocate for your you and your family in court. Your children’s best interests are paramount. Reach out to the experienced Chicago child support lawyers at O. Long Law, LLC, today to schedule your consultation.