Child Support Establishment & Enforcement In Illinois
Setting appropriate child support levels can have a major impact on the lives of the parents and the children. While the Illinois Child Support Guidelines provide the formula that is used to determine child support levels, there is the possibility for the levels to be set either too high or too low depending on the information that is entered into the formula.
Raising children is very expensive & you don’t want to pay for everything yourself. The cost of housing, clothing, food, sports & college can reach & exceed over a half-million dollars! The list seems endless, especially if these costs are paid from the income of only 1 parent.
Under Illinois law both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, but not necessarily equally. Child Support isn’t calculated by simply determining and splitting expenses.
When child support levels are set too low, the receiving parent may be in financial straits and the child’s needs may not be met. When child support levels are too high, the burden may create financial difficulties for the paying parent. This makes it important that all of the factors that go into the determination of child support are properly considered. Income, health care expenses, sports & other costs of raising a child can impact your child support levels. Knowing how to handle the factors that can support or block a deviation from the guidelines is necessary for effective representation.
What Is Income For Child Support Determination Purposes?
Independent contractor status and small-business ownership are just a few of the issues that can affect what is considered income. In order to ensure that income determinations are made properly, one should work with an attorney who has extensive experience dealing with such issues.
Child Support Calculations
In Illinois, Child Support issues are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Illinois Divorce Act”) which directs the Court to apply “Statutory Guideline” percentages (depending on the number of children) to the “Net Income” (which is defined in 750 ILCS 5/505) of the non-custodial parent to determine the proper Child Support amount.
Even though Child Support calculations are formula-based, there are individual circumstances that factor into support awards (such as if the non-custodial parent is self-employed, gets paid in cash, or gets large fluctuating bonuses). As a result, under certain circumstances, the court can deviate from the Statutory Guidelines and allow higher or lower percentage amounts.
It is also important to understand that Net Income as defined for Child Support purposes is generally not the same as take home pay. As Child Support is typically paid for many years, even small dollar errors can become significant.
Make Sure the Child Support Figure is Accurate
You need a good detail-oriented Illinois Child Support attorney who isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and investigate all possible sources of income. Rutter Family Law LLC can help reduce your stress by taking on the full responsibility for investigating all sources of income, making sure the proper deductions are made to arrive at net income, and pursuing for an upward or downward deviation from the Statutory Guidelines when appropriate.
Rutter Family Law LLC will do our best to make sure the responsibility for the payment of other child-related expenses (such as health insurance, day care expenses, sports & school tuition) not intended to be covered by Child Support is properly handled in the divorce. If you are being paid Child Support, we will make sure you get your fair share. If you are paying Child Support, we will make sure you are not over paying. Contact us today at (630) 940-9107 for an appointment.
The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can discuss your options and how best to help you achieve the results that you need in your situation. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 630.940.9107 or send us an email.