If a parent is no longer with the other parent of their child in Illinois, there is a very good chance that one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other. The child support payment is generally paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support is there to ensure that the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing are being met by both parents.
The amount of the child support is based on the child support guidelines. These state that the parent paying child support must pay the other parent a certain percentage of his or her adjusted gross income. The percentage of the income increases as the number of children increases. The percentage starts at 20 percent for one child and increases to 50 percent if there are six or more children.
The guidelines may seem rigid, but a judge may deviate from these guideline amounts, if he or she finds that a deviation is in the best interests of the child. The deviation could increase or decrease the child support obligation.
When making the decision the judge will look to factors including, but not limited to, the financial resources and needs of the child, as well as the needs of the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent. A judge can also consider the standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents were still together, the physical, mental and emotional needs of the child and the educational needs of the child and others.
Many parents in Illinois either pay or receive child support. The amount of child support is based on the child support guidelines and the money itself is used for a child's financial needs, medical needs and extracurricular expenses, among other expenses. However, since every family's financial circumstances are different, a judge may deviate from them when setting the child support obligation. Experienced attorneys understand the laws surrounding child support and can help local parents with understanding their rights and responsibilities.
Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/505," accessed Aug. 24, 2015