Child support is a payment obligation created by Illinois Statutory law and enforced by the court and the Illinois Attorney General’s office.  It is normally paid by a non-custodial parent – a parent who the child does not live with or, who spends less time with the child than the other parent – to the custodial parent, for the benefit of the child.

When  an Illinois court or administrative agency figures child support they first start with a percentage of net income for the number of children listed in the statute. These are the percentages:

Number of Children Percent of Supporting Party's
Net Income
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6 or more 50%

Net income is defined as the total of all income from all sources, minus certain specially listed deductions. There are special times when a court may justify deviating from the guidelines but, when a court is asked to modify a current child support order, it will start with the guidelines.

Normally, a judge will review the evidence presented to the court in order to translate the percentage into a fixed amount to be paid each pay period.  For example, a non-custodial parent with two children who takes home $500 per week – as shown by their paystubs, W-2’s or 1099’s,  and tax returns – could be ordered to pay $140 per week in child support.

Often times support orders are entered and enforced through the State Disbursement Unit.  This requires an employer to withdraw the payment from a worker’s check and send it to the SDU.  If the Employer fails to follow an order they could be penalized.

Many factors can affect the amount and method of child support payments. And, tax credit allocations for the children are frequently considered by the court.

As with other areas of the law, it pays to have an attorney to give you sound legal advice.  Contact us today to set up a consultation to discuss your child support situation!

CategoryFamily Law

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