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When couples with children are separated or getting a divorce, a major concern is how they will financially support their children in years to come. Generally, parents may make an effort to devise a plan detailing their child support arrangements. However, if the parents cannot come to an agreement as to the amount of child support that will be paid by either party, then the next step is to seek out the assistance of the judicial system. In this case, an attorney can be an invaluable tool to help navigate the process.
In the state of Illinois, both parents have a legal, parental obligation to provide financial support for their children. Thus, a court can order one or both parents to pay child support. The Illinois statute defines child support as any amount that is reasonable and necessary to support the child, and it does not consider marital misconduct as a factor that would affect the amount of child support owed by either spouse. To elaborate, the duty of support owed by the parents to the child relates to the “reasonable and necessary” emotional health, mental health, physical health, and educational well-being of the child (for these purposes, a child is considered any person under the age of 18, or any person under the age of 19 who is still in high school).
Meeting the Minimum Guidelines
Regardless of whether parents come to agreed upon terms on their own, or are subject to court ordered terms for child support, in Illinois there are certain minimum guidelines that must be met. The minimum monthly allotment that a non-custodial parent must pay is based on the number of children; as the amount of children increase, so does the amount of child support required to be paid. Specifically, child support is calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent's net income and the percentage increases as follows: 20 percent for one child; 28 percent for two children; 32 percent for three children; 40 percent for four children; 45 percent for five children; and 50 percent for six or more children.
Net income considers all income earned or unearned while subtracting any adjustments or deductibles as listed in the statutory guidelines. Such deductibles and adjustments can be summarized as follows: federal and state income tax; social security; union dues; health and hospitalization insurance premiums; life insurance premiums; prior obligations of spousal maintenance or child support; expenditures or repayment of debts that are reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income; and expenses foster care payments.
Contact an Illinois Attorney for AssistanceIf you are ordered to pay child support and are seeking a modification of the existing order, seek the assistance of a reputable attorney to discuss your parental obligation. The attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio, located in Hinsdale, Illinois, are ready to assist and serve you in any child support matter. Contact our experienced DuPage County family lawyers today.