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George Skuros
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Chicago Child Support Lawyer

Chicago child support lawyer

Chicago Family Law Attorney For Child Support Orders and Obligations in Cook County and Surrounding Areas

In most cases in Illinois and throughout the United States in which a child has two known parents, they are both legally obligated to contribute financially to the child's well-being. When you are married, chances are that you do not give child support a second thought, as financial support for your children simply comes from your combined net income. However, if you get a divorce, or if you are not married to your child's other parent, it will be important to determine how child support obligations will be handled.

At The Law Offices of George J. Skuros, we understand that child support can be a concern, both because of your desire to provide for your children and your own possible financial constraints. Our reputable Chicago child support lawyers will provide quality legal representation informed by over 30 years of experience, and we will work to ensure that your children have the financial resources they need and that you are treated fairly, whether you are the paying parent or receiving parent. With our experience in family law matters and our understanding of the Illinois child support guidelines, we can make sure you consider all factors that may affect the amount you will pay or receive following the finalization of your divorce decree.

Child Support Calculations in Illinois

Since 2017, the Illinois child support law has used an income shares model to determine each parent's child support obligations. The income share model uses a calculation in which the two parents' monthly net incomes are added together and compared to a schedule maintained by the state's Department of Healthcare and Family Services that outlines the expected amount that a household with that income would contribute to the basic costs of raising a child. When support must be ordered for more than one child, the amount of these basic costs is adjusted accordingly.

The calculation then determines the percentage of the child support obligation that each parent should be responsible for based on the parties' combined net income and other relevant factors, including their allocated parenting time and other child support or spousal support obligations that they may have.

The parent with the minority of the parenting time (commonly known as the noncustodial parent) will usually be ordered to make regular payments to the other. While the custodial parent will also have child support obligations, they will be presumed to use the income they earn to directly provide for the children's needs. Support payments may be made directly by one parent to the other, although other arrangements are usually put in place. A parent may make payments to the Illinois Child Support Disbursement Unit, which will then distribute these payments to the other parent, or a wage garnishment order may be issued by the court that will allow child support payments to be deducted from one parent's income and paid to the other parent.

As you prepare for your child support order, we can help you understand the child support calculations that will be used in your case so that you have an idea of what you will be expected to contribute, and we will also stand up for your interests to ensure that the outcome does not cause you unnecessary financial hardship.

Child Support Provider

Child Support Statistics Infographic For more Child statistics please visit the U.S. Census Bureau.

Child Support in Special Situations

There are some cases where the amount determined using the standard child support guidelines may not be appropriate due to custody issues that affect the parents and children. Illinois law recognizes that standard child support calculations may need to be adjusted in extraordinary circumstances. Calculating child support may be a more complex matter in these situations, and multiple factors may need to be taken into account.

If parents will be sharing parenting time equally (or in proportions that are close to 50/50), it may not make sense for one parent to pay a significant percentage of their income to the other parent. In these situations, both parents will likely have increased home and child care expenses, and they will need to be sure they will be able to provide for the needs of themselves, their children, and other family members. When parents meet the criteria for "shared physical care," additional child support calculations will need to be made.

Shared physical care includes situations where children live with each parent at least 40 percent of the time. 40 percent of 365 is 146, so in cases where children spend the night at each parent's home at least 146 days out of every year, calculations must be performed to determine how to divide child support based on the specific percentages of time that children will spend with each parent. These calculations take into account the increased costs that apply to parents in these situations, and the parents' obligations are offset, meaning that one parent will pay the other parent the difference between the child support amounts calculated for each parent.

In some cases, parents with multiple children will create arrangements for “split physical care” in which different children will live primarily with each parent. In these cases, separate child support calculations will be performed for each parent as if the child that lives primarily with them is their only child. The lesser child support amount will be subtracted from the greater amount to determine how much child support one parent will pay to the other.

As an example of how to determine child support in split physical care situations, consider a child support case where a couple has two children, with one child living primarily with each parent. Based on the parents' incomes, the father would be required to pay $500 per month in child support for the child who lives with the mother, and the mother would be required to pay $400 per month to support the child who lives with the father. In this case, the mother's obligation would be subtracted from the father's obligation to reach a total of $100, which is the amount that the father would pay to the mother.

Special Child Support Expenses

Often, children have important needs beyond those that are included in the basic child support obligation. When this is the case, a child support order may be adjusted to reflect other child-related expenses. Depending on your situation, this may include the costs of education, extracurricular activities, child care, health care, and special physical, mental, or developmental needs.

When medical expenses are added to child support, they may address the costs of health insurance, doctor visits, medications, and other health-related costs. Child care expenses may address the costs of daycare, babysitters, or other services that will ensure that children receive the proper care and supervision while parents are working. By detailing these costs while addressing issues related to child custody, parents can make sure they will fully share all expenses involved in raising their children.

Parents can also be ordered to contribute to college expenses for a child who is over 18 years of age. It is important to note that these additional obligations are usually based on what your children could have expected while you were still married, and we will work to ensure that your obligation remains within your financial means even with these added expenses.

Child Support FAQs


What to do if your ex-spouse is not paying child support?

Answer: After a child support order is issued, you may need assistance to ensure that the other parent follows its terms. If they are consistently late or missing payments, we can help you petition for enforcement to ensure that they make amends or risk facing consequences, including fines, income withholding, driver's license suspension, jail time, and criminal charges of contempt of court or failure to support.


What if my child's needs have changed?

Answer: If your income or earning capacity or your children's needs change after your divorce, we can help you pursue a modification to the original order so that the payment obligations better account for your current situation. This may mean making the case for a recalculation of the basic support obligation or petitioning the court for a special adjustment based on a substantial change in circumstances. Our child support lawyers can help you make a case for modifications when they may be necessary. We understand that child support is important for the well-being of your child, and we will work with you to make sure that your child gets the financial and other care they need. However, we also know that you will need to protect your own financial interests and ensure that you will not be placed in a difficult financial situation. If you have lost your job, experienced health issues or other disabilities, or encountered other circumstances that have affected your ability to comply with your child support order, we can make sure you take immediate action to avoid penalties and put temporary or permanent changes in place that will meet your needs.


How can a child support lawyer help me?

Answer:At our family law firm, we can also ensure that you take the necessary steps to enforce child support orders or respond to claims by the other parent that you have not met your obligations. We understand the laws that play a role in these situations and the circumstances under which a person can be held in contempt of court or face other consequences for violating court orders. We handle these cases in an extremely professional manner, working to find family court solutions that will not cause unnecessary hardship for parents or children. With our help, you can have peace of mind knowing that a reasonable child support agreement that works for everyone involved in your family law case has been established.

Contact a Chicago Child Support Lawyer

Contact a Chicago Child Support Lawyer

For a legal issue like child support that deeply affects your family, you need an experienced family law attorney who can stand up for you and your children. Our team is extremely knowledgeable in Illinois law, and we understand the issues that affect children involved in the divorce process or other cases involving child custody and child support. We can handle divorce-related concerns in a wide variety of situations, and we will advocate for solutions that will provide for the best interests of children while also protecting the rights of parents. Contact our Chicago child support lawyers for a free initial consultation at 312-884-1222. At our law offices, we serve clients in Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Inverness, Park Ridge, Chicago, the North Shore, and surrounding areas throughout Cook County.

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