Parents in Illinois have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. This is true whether the parents are together or separate. It is not as difficult when the parents are together since most of the expenses are shared anyways. However, it becomes a little more difficult if the parents are divorced or were never together in the first place. That is why the law has implemented child support.
The courts want to ensure that both parents are providing financial support for their children, not just the custodial parent. Therefore, one parent generally is ordered to pay the other child support to accomplish this goal. Child support is determined in Illinois by the child support guidelines. These establish the percentage of a non-custodial parent’s net income that will go to the other parent, depending on the number of children the couple has together.
The parent’s net income is based on the gross income minus certain deductions. These deductions include state and federal taxes, social security, mandatory retirement deductions, health insurance premiums, reasonable medical expenses, payment of child support or spousal maintenance for another child or ex-spouse and others. Once the relevant amounts are deducted from the parent’s gross income, the guidelines determine the percentage of that amount that will be paid to the other parent.
The court can deviate from the guidelines depending on the circumstances, but those are very fact specific determinations. Also, if the net income cannot be determined for some reason, the court can order what is reasonable given the facts provided.
There are many parents who pay or receive child support in Illinois. These determinations are based on the child support guidelines using the parent’s net income. The guidelines may seem rigid, but there are situations where the court can deviate. Experienced attorneys understand the child support law and may be able to guide one through the process.
Source: childsupportillinois.com, “Calculating Child Support Obligation,” accessed on Sep.r 29, 2015