In many divorce and family law cases, child support may be a highly contentious issue. Decisions made about child support will affect your finances for years to come, which is why it is essential to have a skilled and experienced attorney advocating for your interests.At Corri Fetman & Associates, Ltd., we understand the complexity of the child support laws in Illinois, and we can ensure that all relevant factors are considered during your case. We will help you reach an outcome that will protect your financial security while providing for your children’s best interests.
Basic Child Support Obligations
To address the financial circumstances of modern families, Illinois law switched to an “income shares” method of calculating child support in 2017. This approach determines child support based on the income earned by both parents. The intent of the statute is to ensure that both parents continue providing the same level of financial support for their children as they would have done if they had not ended their relationship.Under the income shares method, a Basic Support Obligation is determined based on the parents’ combined net income and the number of children they share. Each parent will be responsible for paying a percentage of the Basic Support Obligation, with this percentage being equal to his or her “percentage share” of the combined net income.In many cases, the parent who has the minority of the parenting time with the couple’s children will pay his or her share of the Basic Support Obligation to the other parent. The parent with the majority of the parenting time is presumed to directly spend his or her share of the obligation to address the children’s needs. However, additional calculations may be required if children stay overnight with each parent for 146 days or more per year, or 40% of the time. These situations are considered Shared Physical Care in which the Basic Support Obligation will need to be further divided based on each parent’s percentage of overnight parenting time.
The Basic Support Obligation is meant to meet children’s basic daily needs, including providing a place to live, food to eat, clothing, and other necessities. However, there are a variety of additional costs involved in raising children, and some other expenses may also need to be addressed. These may include:
- Medical and Dental expenses – Parents may divide the costs of health insurance premiums for children, as well as other uncovered out-of-pocket medical and dental costs.
- Child care – If a child needs to attend daycare or other forms of paid supervision while one or both parents are working, the related costs may be apportioned between parents.
- Educational costs and extracurricular activities – Parents may be required to contribute to children’s private school tuition expenses related to any extracurricular activities.
- College tuition and expenses – Parents may be obligated to assist in paying for children’s tuition, room, board, and other related expenses in accordance with their respective ability to pay and financial circumstances. Under the current statute (Section 5/513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), the maximum amount parents may be required to pay for college is equivalent to the actual cost of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for that school year.
When calculating child support obligations, our attorneys can ensure that all applicable factors are taken into account. We will help you correctly determine the net income of both parties and address additional child-related expenses. We will advocate for your interests and your children’s needs and assist in reaching an optimal result. For skilled and dedicated representation in your child support case, contact our office at 312-341-0900.