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How Illinois Child Support Payments Are Calculated

How Illinois Child Support Payments Are Calculated

The determination of how Illinois child support payments are calculated from a divorce in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and other areas in Illinois, depends on the number of children involved and the income of the parent. Payment amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, largely at the discretion of the judge. Typically, though, judges look to the statutory guidelines.

Depending on the terms of the court order, the non-custodial parent must pay child support until the child turns 18 or until the child is emancipated. Emancipation may occur if the child becomes a member of the military or otherwise gains employment and thus no longer requires financial support, or if the child is married or moves out on his or her own and desires independence. Until the occurrence of one of these events, the child has the legal right to support from both parents. The Illinois support guidelines call for an increasing percentage of the parent's net income as the number of children involved increases. For example, the guidelines call for a parent to pay 20 percent of net income in support of one child and 28 percent of the parent's net income for two. For six or more children, the suggested amount is 50 percent of the parent's net income.

Net income includes income from salaries, tips, overtime pay, commissions and bonuses, as well as capital gains income, income from disability or workers' compensation, lottery winnings and most other types of income. The calculation does not include income taxes, health insurance premiums, necessary medical expenses or mandatory retirement contributions.

Neither of the above lists is meant to be exhaustive. Other sources of income may be included and other expenditures may be excluded from the calculation. A family law attorney may be able to help a client understand child support obligations under the Illinois guidelines and the likely application of the guidelines to the facts of a particular case.

Source: Findlaw, "Illinois Child Support Guidelines", September 01, 2014

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