b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-79.jpgHigh-income child support cases are situations where one or both parents earn a substantial income that exceeds the guidelines set in state laws. In these situations, the court agrees to deviate from standard regulations to accommodate a high income family's unique needs and lifestyle. This article explores different aspects of these complex cases and their outcomes. 


Calculating High-Income Child Support

Under usual circumstances, Illinois courts adopt a formulaic approach to determine child support payment amount.

The court uses an income-share model, where the final amount is based on how many nights a child stays at each parent’s house. This number is multiplied by the number of children one party has in this or another relationship.  The state uses these regulations to ensure every child of a divorce receives a quality life through financial support offered by the parents. 

Generally, the non-custodial parent, meaning the one with lesser parental responsibilities and parenting time, will pay a pre-decided amount to the custodial parent (meaning the parent that lives with the child). Child maintenance is paid in installments to ensure the child’s needs are effectively met. 


IL family lawyerIn Illinois, the court can require divorcing parents to pay for their children's post-secondary education. Family lawyers can help you decide how much you need to pay and how to divide those responsibilities during a divorce. The following is a brief overview of the statute that covers this area of Illinois family law.

#1. There Is an Age Limit for College Provisions

Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/513) has set strict terms and conditions for college expenses. The provisions include the cost of five college applications, a minimum of two college entrance exam fees, and payouts for educational books and resources.

This includes post-secondary education costs for trade school and vocational school. The court does take both parents' financial status and future resources while dividing the college expenses equitably. Do you have to pay for college until graduation? Not necessarily.

One of the clauses in Section 513 states that parents and the non-minor child are responsible for paying for college expenses until they turn twenty-three years old. After that, the divorced parents are no longer obliged to cover post-secondary educational costs under this law.

#2. College Expenses May Include Housing Costs

Despite popular belief, college expenses do not end with tuition fees. Divorced parents must also consider housing expenses when sending their children to college.


st. charles divorce lawyer Child support is a key aspect of any Illinois divorce that involves children. It is designed to ensure the best interests of children, and that both parents contribute financially to the care and upbringing of their children.

If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand how child support is calculated and how much you or the other parent may be required to pay.

The Income Shares Model

Illinois child support payments are determined based on a calculation model known as the Income Shares Model. It takes into account key things like the income of both parents and the number of children involved.

The model or formula is based on the idea that each parent should contribute financially to the child's care in proportion to their income. Every case is different and your St. Charles divorce attorney can better guide you regarding the exact numbers of your case.

Basic Child Support Obligation

To calculate child support in Illinois, the court will first determine each parent's net income. This includes all sources of income, such as wages, investment income, bonuses, etc.


st. charles child support lawyer Divorced or unmarried parents of minor children in Illinois often believe they will be able to stop making child support payments when their youngest child turns 18. Many parents are surprised to learn that child support can continue past the age of legal adulthood in several circumstances. If you are paying or receiving child support and have questions about whether payments might be extended past your child’s 18th birthday, read on to learn about circumstances in which a parent may need to pay child support for an adult child. Then, contact an Illinois family law attorney with experience in child support matters for further answers to your questions. 

The Child is Still in High School

If a child has turned 18 but has not yet finished high school, child support payments will continue until the child either graduates or drops out of high school. However, if the child is over 18 and decides not to finish high school, the parent making payments will need to file a motion with the court requesting that payments be terminated. Ending payments without permission from the court can result in owing back child support and legal consequences. 

The Child is Attending College or Vocational Training

Illinois is unique in that judges can require divorced or never married parents to pay child support for an adult child who is going to college or a vocational school, such as a cosmetology or diesel mechanics program. Because courts do not want children of divorced parents to miss out on education opportunities simply because their parents are divorced, a judge can compel both parents to contribute to a child’s college expenses.

The Child Has a Disability

Children with a disability that existed before their 18th birthday may be eligible to receive child support indefinitely. A child with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, clinical depression, or other legitimate disability may require extensive medical care, help with daily expenses, and assisted living accommodations for their entire lives. Both parents are expected to contribute financially and may be required to place funds into a trust account for the benefit of the child. If one parent is the child’s primary caregiver, the other parent may be required to continue making payments to that parent. 

Contact a St. Charles, IL Adult Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions about adult child support and whether you may need to pay or receive it after your child turns 18, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kane County adult child support attorney. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., our goal is to make sure you have the information and legal representation you need to make smart decisions and get great results. Contact us now at 630-584-5550 to learn more. 


IL divorce lawyerAlthough most parents have their child’s best interest at heart, child support can nevertheless be a source of great contention during divorce. For most divorcing parents in Illinois, child support is calculated using a predetermined formula that uses both parents’ incomes to determine payment amounts, giving parents some measure of predictability.

But for high-income parents whose earnings deviate from the standard formulas for calculating child support, the child support process can be somewhat unpredictable because judges have substantial leeway in setting payment amounts. If you are a wealthy, high-income, or high-net-worth parent in Illinois and expect to be paying child support in the future, understanding how Illinois family law courts tend to treat high-income child support cases may make the process more straightforward.

Illinois Courts Can Deviate From State Child Support Guidelines

Illinois uses a model known as the “income shares” method when calculating child support payments. The income shares model uses both parents’ incomes and how much time they spend with the child to determine which parent makes payments and how much payments will be. For most parents, this is a fairly straightforward process of plugging in numbers and then making allowances for any extra expenses a child may have.

But when one or both parents have large incomes, adhering to the income shares formula may produce payments far in excess of a child’s reasonable needs. In cases like this, judges can deviate from the income shares guidelines to make payments more reasonable. Judges are primarily concerned with making sure a child’s needs are met and will consider the following factors when setting payments:

  • Each parent’s income, as well as other financial resources like bonuses and savings
  • Each parent’s financial needs
  • Whether following the income shares method would generate a financial “windfall” for the parent with majority parenting time (since the intention is to support a child, not to provide additional money for the other parent)
  • The child’s needs, including any supplemental medical or educational resources he or she requires
  • The standard of living the child would have experienced if the parents had stayed together

Speak with a St. Charles Child Support Lawyer

Calculating child support payments with high-net-worth parents can be a complex endeavor, but having the help of an experienced Kane County child support attorney with Shaw Sanders, P.C. may make the process easier. We will advocate passionately for the best interests of your child and ensure you get the maximum payments to which you are entitled. Call our offices today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you. Contact us at 630-584-5550.


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