Determining Child Support Obligations in Illinois
If you are a divorcing parent in the midst of arranging child support, chances are you are also juggling to manage other parent-child issues that come with separation, such as the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation). The child support you receive is important for the mere fact that it enables you to care for your children after the divorce, but it can also have an impact on your lifestyle with your children as a whole once the family transition is completed.
Receiving a just and reasonable amount of support can ease tension between you and your spouse, which can mean more peaceful interaction during custody and visitation exchanges. In general, the smoother the child support process goes, the better chance you have at experiencing a smoother transition all together. So, how does the state calculate child support amounts? Which factors are considered when determining those amounts?
Here is a basic breakdown of how child support amount is determined:
The decision first depends on the noncustodial parent’s net income plus the amount of children they are to support. Illinois statutory guidelines require the minimum net income, as follows:
- One child - 20 percent;
- Two children - 28 percent;
- Three children - 32 percent;
- Four children - 40 percent;
- Five children - 45 percent; and
- Six or more children - 50 percent.
The court also considers the best interest of the child as a whole, and in some cases, these factors can cause the percentages to deviate from the dictated guidelines above. For example, the court considers all of the following when setting the percentage amount:
- Financial resources and needs of the children and the custodial parent;
- The emotional and physical state of the children and custodial parent; and
- The standard of living that the child was already accustomed to before the marriage dissolved.
The needs of the non-custodial parent are considered as well. If for some reason the court is unable to determine a net amount, an amount that is considered reasonable will be ordered on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services has permission to determine an amount based on the state’s minimum wage.
If you are pursuing child support, you can rest assured knowing the court takes a number of factors into account when determining how much you are eligible to receive. If you are concerned about your case or are in need of professional guidance, speak with a qualified Kane County family law attorney today. Call Shaw Sanders, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.