Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Additional expenses not included in child support payments

In Illinois, if parents of a child are no longer together, there is a good chance that one of the parents is paying child support for the child. Child support payments are based on the child support guidelines. These guidelines take into account each parent's net monthly income and a number of other factors. Based on how many children the parents have, the non-custodial parent will pay a certain percentage of his or her net income to the other parent.

The child support payment is designed to ensure that the financial needs of the child are being met by both parents, not just the custodial parent. These needs generally include food, clothing and shelter. However, as any parent knows, the child's expenses do not just include food, clothing and shelter.

In many families, both parents work and until children are old enough, many parents have to pay for child care for their children. Also, as they get older, children want to be in various activities such as sports, clubs and other school activities. The child also may attend a private school or need extra educational help. The parents may have deductibles to meet for their health insurance policy and will need to pay certain costs when the child needs medical care.

All of these things cost money, obviously, but they are not necessarily contemplated in setting a basic child support obligation. So, Illinois law allows a court to order parents to pay for extracurricular activities, educational expenses, medical costs not covered by insurance and child care costs, in addition to child support. The court could order one parent to pay or both parents to pay a percentage of all these costs. Generally, that percentage will be based on each parent's income.

A child's financial needs generally go beyond the basic needs. Illinois law recognizes this fact and allows a judge to order parents to pay for these extra costs in addition to the child support payment that is ordered each month. Experienced attorneys are knowledgeable in all the child support laws and may be a useful resource for one going through the process.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/505" accessed April 6, 2015

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