If you have children, a child support order will most likely be part of your divorce settlement. Child support is the money paid from one parent to the other to help with the expenses of raising a child. In 2017, Illinois adopted new guidelines for establishing child support orders. Previously, the noncustodial parent paid a percentage of his or her net income to the other parent as child support. Today, both parents’ incomes are considered when determining an appropriate child support amount.
Child support can be used to cover any expense related to raising a child. These include, but are not limited to:
In Illinois, child support is determined using the income shares doctrine. With this method, the percentage that each parent contributes to the family’s total net income is determined, then applied to the average amount a couple in their income bracket spends on their children each month to determine how much financial support each parent is expected to provide. The amount of parenting time each parent has is worked into this calculation in certain cases.
In most cases, child support ends on a child’s 18th birthday. If the child will still be in high school when he or she turns 18, a parent can request that support continue until he or she graduates or until he or she turns 19.
When an existing child support order no longer fits a family’s needs, the parents can modify it. Unless there is an urgent need to alter the order, an order typically can only be modified if it has been in place for three years or longer.
If parents agree to a modification, they can submit their new child support order to the court and if it meets Illinois’ state standards, the court overrides their current order with the new one. If one parent seeks a change and the other does not agree to the change, the parent seeking the change must petition to the court to have the order modified. In this petition, he or she must demonstrate one of the following:
If you have children, a child support order will likely be a part of your divorce settlement. Start educating yourself about child support in Illinois today by scheduling your free legal consultation with an experienced family attorney at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group today. Our team can answer any questions you have and guide you through this and other aspects of the divorce process.
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