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How does Illinois determine child support?

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Child Support |

One of the most difficult aspects of many breakups and divorces is the need to share parental rights and responsibilities concerning minor children that the former partners share. Parents often fight over time with their children and also the authority to make decisions about their care. It is natural to want to spend as much time as possible with one’s children and to have a say about their upbringing.

Adults may also find themselves disagreeing about the financial obligation to support the children in their family. Raising healthy children is often quite expensive, and one parent may need to provide financial support to ensure a proper standard of living at both households. Child support, or the money paid from one parent to the other for the benefit of the children, is another common source of conflict in co-parenting scenarios.

Multiple factors influence support obligations in Illinois

Determining child support responsibilities is relatively complex in Illinois. The courts look at several different factors. Obviously, the income of both parents will be relevant. Typically, the parent who earns more is more likely to pay child support unless they also have more time parenting the children.

The breakdown of overnight parental responsibilities is also an important consideration that the courts review. The bigger the difference in income and parenting time, the larger the support obligations may become. Additionally, the courts also consider the number of children involved. If the parent paying child support has a pre-existing order for other children with a different parent, that can influence the amount of support ordered.

The courts will also look at any exceptional costs that the parents must absorb and unusual expenses necessary for the children. Even the source of the children’s health insurance coverage can affect how much support is appropriate. The state does provide a calculator to help people estimate support obligations. However, the final determination by the family courts can often deviate from what an automated calculator would estimate.

Learning more about the rules for major family law matters in Illinois, like how to calculate child support, may help people be better advocates for themselves and their children during a divorce or separation. Seeking legal guidance can be very beneficial in this regard as well.


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