Calculating Illinois Child Support Payments

Jonathan Merel

As if being a parent weren’t hard enough these days, things sure do get amplified when you are a single parent. It requires more responsibility, less time for yourself and the constant battle to juggle and find balance in your life. Situations become increasingly more complicated when child support comes into play.

Illinois child support payments are generally straightforward and follow a guideline based on the statute; however, there are rare circumstances where the amount of child support can deviate from the statutory guidelines based on variables in the specific case.

All Illinois child support payments are derived from the non-custodial parent’s net income, not gross income. Therefore mandatory tax deductions are taken out before child support payments are calculated. Thus, you can expect child support to be calculated based on the “take home”/money actually earned portion of the paying parent’s paycheck.

Illinois Child Support Table

Number of ChildrenNon-Custodial Parent's Income

Modifying Child Support in Illinois

So if the numbers are there, what can possibly increase or decrease child support payments in Illinois?

That’s a very good question and one family law attorneys hear from clients quite often. Since every parent has an obligation to support their child, it is rare that judges will deviate from the guidelines. However a list of variables that may cause a deviation from the guidelines are as follows:

  • The non-custodial parent is already paying child support to another child or children.
  • The non-custodial parent is paying high insurance premiums for the minor child[ren].
  • The current living arrangements of both parents.
  • Each parents income situation or ability to earn income.
  • The custody arrangement (will the child reside 50% of the time with each parent? Or 100% with just one?).
  • If it is difficult to determine the non-custodial parents net income.

The last example is most commonly found in cases where the parent is self-employed and pays him or herself. In these cases I urge you to seek the advice of an attorney who knows how to navigate the legal trenches so the proper child support payments can be allocated. These cases normally require more discovery and legal knowledge in order to achieve optimal results.

In conclusion, Illinois child support payments generally follow a standard guideline that is almost always followed. However, loopholes exist in family law. You need to be prepared that even though it may appear you will be either receiving or paying 20% in child support, many things can arise that may actually increase or decrease the amount.

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