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When Illinois adopted its income shares model for child support, it created an expenditures table to determine the total child support obligation between both parents. The table uses the combined incomes of the parents and the number of children to calculate how much money is needed for child expenditures. The total is an obligation divided between the parents, with each parent paying an amount that is proportionate to his or her share of their combined incomes. The table amounts account for common child expenditures, including:
The table amounts do not account for some major child-related expenses that can vary by the needs of the child. A family law court is given the discretion to add these expenses to the total child support obligation.
A parent’s health insurance will cover many of the basic medical expenditures on the children. The court can order that both parents share the cost of medical expenses that are not covered by the insurance, such as:
Child Care Costs
The parent with whom the children primarily live may request that the cost of necessary child care be included in the child support obligation. Paying a person or service to watch the children is deemed necessary if it allows the parent to work, seek employment or attend a school or training program. Besides daycare fees, child care expenses can include the deposit needed to secure placement in the program and fees for after-school programs and camps when school is not in session. Before approving the child care expense, the court may consider whether there is a cheaper child care option available that reasonably meets the children’s needs.
A court may require both parents to help pay for the children’s extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, and classes. The fees must be reasonable, and the activities are expected to add to the child’s physical, social, or cultural development.
Cost of Parenting
The expense of raising your children can at times exceed what is considered normal, which may require an increase in your child support obligation. However, courts must believe that the additional child support expense is necessary before it deviates from the normal amount. A Kane County family law attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can help you make sure that your child support obligation matches your children’s needs. To schedule a free consultation, call 331-588-6611.