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How Is Child Support Calculated in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Oak Brook child support attorney

If you are considering divorce, you may have several questions about how it will impact you and your spouse financially. If you share children with your spouse, it is likely that either you or your spouse will be required to make child support payments to the other. Child support allows a child to benefit from the financial support of both of his or her parents, even when the parents are not married or living together. Child support can be a major expense for the paying parent, and it also represents a major source of financial sustenance for the receiving parent. Whether you are the payor or recipient of child support, it is important to understand how child support payment amounts are calculated in Illinois.

Income Shares Guidelines

The way child support is calculated in Illinois underwent dramatic changes in 2017. Prior to the change, child support payment amounts were based only on the paying party’s income and the number of children needing support. This outdated calculation method was replaced by the Income Shares calculation model. This method takes both parents’ net incomes into consideration. With this method, a child support obligation will be determined based on the parents' combined income and the number of children they have together. This amount will represent what parents would be expected to spend to care for their children if they remained married. The support obligation will then be divided between the parents according to each parent's percentage of their combined income. Typically, the non-custodial parent who has the minority of the parenting time with the couple's children will pay his or her portion of the child support obligation to the custodial parent.

If each parent has his or her child at least 146 nights a year, this is considered a “shared parenting” arrangement. Because each parent is responsible for a large percentage of the parenting time, each parent's child support obligation will be multiplied by 1.5, then it will be multiplied by the other parent's percentage of parenting time. The smaller amount is then subtracted from the larger amount to determine the amount of child support one parent will pay to the other. If the amount of time a parent spends with a child is less than 146 nights a year, his or her parenting time is not taken into consideration during child support calculations.

Deviating From the Illinois Child Support Guidelines

There are some situations in which Illinois courts deviate from the Income Shares guidelines. If the court finds that straying from the statutory guidelines is in the child’s best interests, the court has the authority to do so. There are several factors taken into consideration by Illinois courts when deciding whether a deviation is appropriate, including:

  • The child’s financial needs

  • The child’s physical and mental health

  • The child’s educational needs

  • Each parent’s financial circumstances and needs

  • The standard of living the child would have experienced if the parents were married

Contact a Western Springs Child Support Lawyer

Child support is typically based on statutory formulas and the parents’ net incomes. However, there are certain situations that may require a deviation from the guidelines. For help establishing child support or enforcing a child support order, or if you have any other family law or divorce concerns, contact Botti Marinaccio, LTD. Call us at 630-575-8585 today and schedule a private consultation to discuss your needs with our qualified and compassionate Cook County divorce attorneys.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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