Illinois has a law that lays out the guidelines for the minimum amount that a non-custodial parent must pay in child support. (A non-custodial parent is a parent who does not have physical and/or legal custody of his or her child.) The guidelines take into account two factors – income and number of children.
According to the guidelines, the minimum percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income that should go to child support is as follows:
- 1 Child = 20%
- 2 Children = 28%
- 3 Children = 32%
- 4 Children = 40%
- 5 Children = 45%
- 6 Or More Children = 50%
The term “net income” refers to the non-custodial parent’s total income, after subtracting the following deductions:
- Federal and state income tax;
- Social Security;
- Mandatory retirement contributions;
- Union dues;
- Dependent and individual health/hospitalization insurance premiums, and premiums for life insurance that are required either by law, or as a condition of payment;
- Prior obligations of support or maintenance that are actually paid, pursuant to a court order;
- Obligations pursuant to a court order for maintenance in the pending proceeding that have actually been paid (or are payable to the same party to whom child support is to be payable); and
- Expenditures for repayments of debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenses. These may include expenses for the production of income, medical expenditures, or reasonable expenses for the benefit of the child or the other parent (aside from gifts).
Judges are not bound to adhere to the guidelines when they set the amount of child support payments. They are required to consider the needs of the child, and they may adjust the amount of the payments accordingly.
Can the Amount Be Modified Later?
When a court in Illinois has issued a child support order, it is possible for the order to be modified. Child support orders can be modified by request at any time, if circumstances have changed significantly. They can also be modified at any time due to a child’s health care needs, even if there has not been a significant change in circumstances.
In order for the modification to take place, it must be approved by a judge. Even if both parents agree to a modification, the modification still must have judicial approval.
If a child support order is not modified, it will continue until the child is 18, or until he or she graduates from high school – whichever occurs later. There are circumstances when child support payments will be expected even later than this, such as when the child is disabled. Whether the payments should continue once the child is an adult is up to the discretion of a judge.
If you would like to know more about your child support options, you should consider speaking to an attorney. To schedule an appointment today with the family law attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. in Naperville, Illinois, call 630-961-0060, or contact us online.