Knowledge is Power: Calculate Your Illinois Child Support

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Calculating Child Support Obligations in Illinois

The state of Illinois recognizes the right of every child to expect financial support from both parents, regardless of the relationship between them. When the child’s parents are divorced, separated, or unmarried and living apart, the law provides that a court may enter an order for child support requiring one or both parents to make payments. Most often, the parent who has not been granted primary residential custody of the child is responsible for paying support and the amount to be paid is based on the supporting parent’s net income and the number of children for which payment is required. (750 ILCS 5/505)

Statutory Guidelines for Child Support

Statutory Guidelines for Child Support

Number of ChildrenSupporting Parent’s Net Income
6 or more50%

The guidelines in the law provide a basis for minimum support expectations, which may be altered by a finding of the court. If the court determines that the resulting amount would not be appropriate based on the specific circumstances of the case, it may choose to deviate from the statutory calculations. Factors that could lead to a deviation include, but are not limited to:

  • The financial needs and resources of the child(ren);
  • The financial needs and resources of both the supporting parent and the primary custodial parent;
  • The standard of living the child(ren) would have enjoyed if the marriage had not ended, or if the parties had been married; and
  • The physical and emotional health of the child(ren) and their educational needs.

Determining Net Income

In many child support cases, there is a great deal of confusion regarding what constitutes a supporting parent’s net income. While net income is not quite as simple as looking at the “net pay” box on a paycheck stub, the law provides a formula for its calculation, as well. A party’s net income is the total of all income from all sources minus specified allowable deductions, including:

  • Federal income tax;
  • State income tax;
  • Social Security (FICA);
  • Mandatory retirement contributions;
  • Union dues;
  • Individual and dependent health insurance premiums;
  • Prior obligations of child support or spousal maintenance actually paid pursuant to a court or administrative order;
  • Expenses to repay debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenditures for the production of income;
  • Medical expenses necessary to preserve life or health;
  • Foster care payments made by the Department of Children and Family Services for providing care to a foster child; and
  • Expenses reasonable for the benefit of the child and the other parent, not including gifts.

If, due to default or any other reason, the court is unable to complete the statutory calculations because it cannot determine the supporting parent’s net income, the court may enter a support amount considered reasonable based on the individual case. In administrative cases, the Department of Child Support Services may use a standard amount based on the Illinois minimum wage, and the resulting order may be enforced in the same manner as a judicial order.

To estimate your child support payments, try our Illinois Child Support Calculator today.

Illinois Child Support Calculator