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Five Fast Facts About Child Support in Illinois 

Posted on in Family Law

cook county divorce lawyerParents getting divorced in Illinois with underage children face the daunting challenge of understanding Illinois’ child support laws. Although the laws are not unnecessarily complex, it still requires some effort to set clear expectations and ensure parents always meet their obligations. If you are getting divorced and have questions about child support, these five facts may be helpful. 

Child Support is Calculated Using Both Parents’ Incomes 

Some people may be surprised to learn that the income of both parents is considered when calculating child support payments. Both parents’ net incomes are combined and then divided according to how much each parent earns and the percentage of time the child spends with each parent. Illinois has a standardized income table for estimating child support payments, although, as discussed below, these estimations are subject to change depending on the circumstances. 

Child Support Pays for More Than Just Food and Clothing 

Although child support does cover the basics, it can also cover daycare or other childcare costs, extracurricular activities, vacations, and medical expenses. If a child has needs that exceed the average child support tables, such as an ongoing illness or need for regular therapy, child support payments can be adjusted accordingly. 

Verbal Child Support Agreements are Not Enforceable 

Some parents who are never married agree to child support agreements because they want to avoid an expensive or complicated court process. However, making verbal child support agreements can be risky because if the paying parent stops making payments, the receiving parent cannot go to court to enforce the agreement. Parents are better off doing the legal footwork necessary to formalize child support payments. Doing so keeps both parties honest and helps prevent protracted legal conflict in the future. 

Parents Cannot Modify Child Support Themselves

Although one parent may experience a substantial change in circumstances that makes paying their current child support difficult or impossible, a parent cannot simply agree to stop or lower payments without approval from the court. No matter how valid a parent believes their reasons are, until a court order has been officially modified, child support payments must continue as usual. 

Courts Primarily Consider The Best Interests of the Child

Although parents can set a general expectation for child support payments using a formula, courts sometimes deviate from minimum requirements if it would be in the best interests of the child to do so. Courts will consider the standard of living a child would have experienced if the parents had never gotten divorced. This means that, for high-income parents or for children who are dependent even as adults, child support amounts can be adjusted to meet the circumstances. 

Meet with a Hinsdale, IL Child Support Attorney

Paying child support is a serious legal obligation and parents who are paying and receiving child support should have all the information they need about how child support is determined in Illinois. The Cook County child support lawyers at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. are dedicated to informing our clients and giving them the tools and advocacy they need to protect their rights and their family throughout the divorce process and into the future. To schedule an initial consultation, call our offices today at 630-575-8585





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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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