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What does child support pay for?

Divorces that involve minor children can be some of the most complex. This is due in large part to the additional emotional challenges that Illinois parents must face. No longer can both parents expect to see their children on a daily basis. Additionally, many of the decisions that accompany child custody arrangements have ongoing impact. The payment of child support is one of these things.

Child support orders can often be one of the most misunderstood with many people unclear as to what exactly it is supposed to fund. The State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County clarifies that it is only the most essential financial needs that child support is intended to provide for. These include a place to live, food to eat and clothing to wear. Costs associated with extracurricular expenses, healthcare, childcare, school and other items do not need to be funded via child support. A divorce agreement can itemize responsibilities for these things separately.

Child support guidelines note that the state follows a basic formula for the amount of child support to be paid. This figure is based upon the payor’s net income and the number of children involved. If you are the spouse ordered to pay, the lowest amount would be 20 percent of your net income if you have one child. The maximum amount is 50 percent of your net income for if you have more than five children. An order for child support should detail the frequency and duration of payments as well as special orders like a direct debit from your paycheck.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about what child support in Illinois is to be used for.

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