Like many parents in Illinois, you may find understanding what child support payments cover and what they do not cover can be confusing. When not well understood, this may lead to additional conflict between you and your former spouse if each person has different expectations and beliefs.
The Circuit Court of Cook County outlines the provisions of child support as viewed by the State of Illinois. As a general rule, child support payments are to be used to provide the basics of daily living for kids. The receiving parent is expected to utilize the funds to buy food and new clothes for children. The money is also intended to support appropriate housing for kids. Most child support orders do not cover the costs of items like toys, books, bikes or other such items.
In some situations, a court may issue a supplemental order to provide payments for other expenses. This may be to pay for childcare, education-related costs, or out-of-pocket medical or dental costs. It may also cover extracurricular activities like sports, music lessons, and more.
Child support payments may be combined with spousal support payments in what is referred to as unallocated family support. In addition to creating a single payment for two purposes, an order for unallocated support changes the tax liability. If you are ordered to pay child support, you will not be able to deduct those payments from your taxes. If, however, you are ordered to pay unallocated family support, you can deduct those payments from your taxes.
If you are interested in learning more about child support calculations and payments, please visit the minor financial support page on our Illinois family law website.