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.


IL family attorneyIn Illinois, parental income has long been an important factor in establishing the terms of a child support order. Since 2017, this now includes the income of both parents, rather than just the paying parent. As such, changes to either parent’s income can have a significant impact on the amount to be paid. Perhaps the most dramatic change in income a parent may experience is the loss of their job. If you or your child’s other parent have recently become unemployed, you should be aware of how this can affect child support moving forward.

Unemployment and Initial Child Support Calculations

Whether a child support order is established during the divorce process or after an adjudication of paternity, the size of the payments is determined in large part by each parent’s income at the time. Obviously, when a parent is unemployed, they will not have any wages to factor into the calculation, but unemployment can still influence the calculation in other ways, depending on whether a parent is involuntarily or voluntarily unemployed.

When a parent has lost their job involuntarily, perhaps due to lay-offs, furloughs, or other forms of employment termination, they may be eligible for state unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois. These benefits typically come in the form of bi-weekly payments, with increased benefits available for parents who have a dependent child. These benefits are considered income for the purposes of calculating child support, so a parent on unemployment benefits will need to report the amount to the court.

When a parent is voluntarily unemployed, meaning they have left their job or have chosen not to pursue employment, they will usually not be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, in these cases, the court may consider the parent’s potential income when calculating child support. The court will look at evidence including the parent’s past earnings, employment history, and education, as well as job opportunities within the community. Potential income usually applies to working parents who may be attempting to reduce their child support obligation, rather than stay-at-home parents who have forgone employment to focus on caring for their children.

Modifying Child Support Due to Unemployment

In many cases, working parents become involuntarily unemployed after a child support order has been issued. A receiving parent who loses their job could need more resources to provide for their children, while a paying parent could struggle to fulfill the court-ordered payments. In these cases, either parent can petition the court for a modification of the child support order based on a substantial change in circumstances. Court approval of a modification can provide financial relief, but it is important to make every effort to follow the original order until the petition has been resolved.


IL family lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced, one of the parties may be subject to a child support or spousal support order. These court orders are legally-binding and must be obeyed. However, there are situations that can change child support and spousal support orders. One of these situations is the remarriage of either spouse. If you are divorced and your or your spouse is getting remarried, it is important to know how the remarriage could affect child support and spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance Terminates Upon the Recipient’s Remarriage

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, is intended to provide financial aid to a spouse who suffers financial harm due to divorce. Some spousal maintenance obligations are temporary while others are indefinite. If the recipient of spousal support gets remarried, his or her entitlement to maintenance payments automatically terminates. If the paying spouse made payments after the remarriage, he or she is entitled to reimbursement for those payments.

If the payor of spousal support gets remarried, there is no automatic impact on his or her spousal maintenance obligation. However, it is possible that the payor’s remarriage could influence spousal maintenance modifications.

Child Support and Remarriage of Either Spouse

Although child support payments are made to the child’s parent, the money is intended to support the child. Because of this, a child support recipient’s remarriage does not necessarily influence the paying spouse’s child support obligation. A stepparent is not required to help support his or her stepchild. However, there have been cases in which a parent’s child support obligation was affected by the recipient’s remarriage. In one case, the Illinois Appellate Court stated that trial courts may consider the income of a parent’s spouse when determining an appropriate child support award. This means that a recipient spouse’s remarriage could potentially influence the paying spouse’s obligation. If the paying spouse or “obligor” gets remarried, this is unlikely to have an impact on his or her child support obligation.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

The way that Illinois laws are interpreted is constantly changing. If you have questions or concerns about divorce, child support, spousal maintenance, or other family law issues, it is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the ever-changing landscape of Illinois family law. For dependable legal support regarding a range of family law matters, contact an accomplished Kane County family law attorney from Shaw Sanders, P.C. Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.


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