The end of a marriage is often a difficult process. Couples must make a variety of important decisions regarding how to divide their assets, among other issues. If there are children involved, there are even more considerations that must be made. In addition to child custody, perhaps one of the most important decisions regarding minor children involves child support.
Children in Illinois and across the country have the legal right to be supported financially by both of their parents. When parents are no longer in a relationship, often a judge will step in and make a determination regarding the appropriate amount of support a noncustodial parent will provide to the custodial parent for the care of their children. While all cases are unique, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has worksheets to help determine how much support is appropriate.
There are several factors that could ultimately impact how much support is ordered. These include the financial, emotional, physical and educational needs of the child as well as the needs of the custodial parent and noncustodial parent. The obligation for support remains until the child turns 18 (or 19 if still enrolled in high school), the child becomes emancipated, gets married, joins the military or no longer needs financial support due to employment and independence.
While most people realize that child support provides for the basic needs of a child — such as food and clothing — it can be used to pay for a variety of different expenses pertaining to the child, including medical expenses beyond what insurance pays, transportation, private school tuition and other living expenses. For most parents in Illinois, their main concern involves the well-being of their children. Often, this means ensuring that the children benefit from the support of both their parents.