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:
- Transportation; and
- Various expenses that provide opportunities for the children.
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.