Child Support: What about Childcare and Extracurricular Activity Expenses?

Recently the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), under the direction of Gregory M. Bassi, Acting Secretary, released the average cost of daycare for Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties, citing costs at $28.50 to $46.40 per day, depending upon the age of the child. As these high levels of child care costs may appear exorbitant for any family, these costs can seriously complicate the budgets of newly custodial single parents following a recent divorce and could be a consideration when determining child support.

As Illinois maintains statutory guidelines for child support, it is advisable to consult with a qualified Illinois family law attorney to discuss additional costs such as childcare or extracurricular activities when calculating a pending child support order.

Currently, an income model calculation is utilized for determining the childcare order, even if the parents can not come to terms with the level of need. Although each individual case varies, the following factors should be covered when pursuing the best case scenario when it comes to protecting the best interest of all children involved:

  • Financial resources available;
  • Financial needs of both the child and custodial parent;
  • Financial stability for the non-custodial parent;
  • Consideration of previous standard of living; and
  • Educational, insurance and medical costs.

As evident by the court decision of the Illinois Third District Appellate Court in the decision of Carlson v. Urbancz (2003), additional expenditures such as childcare, extracurricular activities and additional medical expenses such as orthodontics or corrective vision eyewear should also be taken into consideration.

Specifically, in the aforementioned case, the respondent was required to pay an additional 20 percent to cover childcare and extracurricular activity costs. This determination surpassed the traditional 32 percent of the non-custodial parents court appointed order, raising the total percentage of court-ordered child support to 40 percent. Since the newly devised order was not appealed, the order was finalized.

Although as each family law case is highly personal and addresses varying needs, those opting to negotiate an order without qualified legal counsel risk entering into an agreement that does not fully address the present and possible future needs of the child often find themselves petitioning for a modification of the current court order.

If you reside in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall or Will counties and considering divorce, the experienced Hinsdale family law attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio understand the importance of maintaining both emotional and financial stability for your children. We firmly believe in an extensive discovery and discussion of the total cost of raising your children to ensure that your child support order is done right the first time. Contact our team to discuss your family’s needs today.

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