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How Is Child Support Calculated in Cook County, Illinois?

 Posted on July 11, 2022 in Uncategorized

shutterstock_1407722624.jpgIn many family law cases, one of the most important issues that will need to be addressed is how parents will share the costs of raising their children. To ensure that children’s needs will be met, child support orders will usually be created as part of a divorce or child custody case. Children have the right to receive financial support from both parents, and child support orders will ensure that the parent who provides the majority of the child care will be able to cover various child-related expenses. By understanding how the laws in Illinois address these matters, parents can ensure that child support payments will be calculated correctly.

Calculating Child Support Obligations Based on Shared Income

Illinois law provides guidelines for how child support obligations will be calculated, and these instructions will usually be followed by family court judges. There may be some situations where a judge may choose to deviate from the guidelines based on extraordinary circumstances, such as when children have special needs that require parents to share the costs of medical care or other forms of treatment. However, the guidelines will apply in most cases, and the method used to calculate child support is as follows:

  1. Each parent’s net income is determined by taking the gross income they earn and deducting allowable expenses, including taxes, spousal maintenance (alimony) payments, and child support for children from a previous relationship.

  2. The parents’ net incomes are added together to determine the combined income that will be used to calculate child support obligations.

  3. Each parent’s percentage share of the combined income is calculated. This figure is their net income divided by the combined income. For example, if Parent A earns $4,000 per month, and Parent B earns $2,500 per month, Parent A’s percentage share ($4,000 divided by $6,500) is 61.5 percent, and Parent B’s percentage share ($2,500 divided by $6,500) is 38.5 percent.

  4. A basic child support obligation is determined based on the parents’ combined income and the number of children. This figure is found using tables provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services that detail the amounts that parents at different income levels typically spend on child-related costs. Using the example above and assuming that the parents have two children, the basic child support obligation for a combined monthly income of $6,500 would be $1,611.

  5. The basic child support obligation is multiplied by each parent’s percentage share. Using the example above, Parent A’s obligation would be $990.77 ($1,611 times 61.5 percent), and Parent B’s obligation would be $620.23 ($1,611 times 38.5 percent).

This method divides the amount that parents are expected to pay to support their children between both parties based on their respective income levels. Most of the time, the parent who has the majority of the parenting time with the couple’s children will receive child support payments from the other parent. Using the example above, if Parent B is the primary custodial parent, Parent A would pay $990.77 to Parent B each month. This amount may be increased if there are additional child-related expenses that need to be divided between the parents. 

Contact Our Chicago Child Support Attorney

While the methods detailed above may form the basis of calculating child support, there are a variety of factors that can complicate these calculations. To ensure that child support will be determined correctly, it is important for parents to be represented by an experienced attorney. At The Law Office of George J. Skuros, we can make sure all relevant issues are considered in these cases, and we can help parents find solutions that will allow them to meet their financial needs going forward. Contact our Des Plaines child support lawyer today at 312-884-1222 to discuss these and other family law issues in a free consultation.




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