Child support in Illinois is currently a percentage of the income of the parent having less parenting time and is meant to be the amount that your child would have benefited from, if the child also lived with his or her other parent. Soon, Illinois will transition to an income shares model, though the purpose of the support will remain the same. In general, child support is meant to help the parent with the majority of parenting time pay bills associated with raising a child, like housing, food, and clothing. However, there are no restrictions on how child support can actually be spent. It is simply intended to financially support the child however needed. If you have questions about how a parent can use child support, contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free initial consultation.
Spending Child Support in Illinois
If you only recently began to receive child support, you may not be sure how you can or should spend the money. You can use child support for:
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Renters or mortgage insurance
- Utilities, including gas, electricity, water, and sewer
- Groceries and toiletries
- Transportation such as a plane tickets, a public transit pass, auto loan payments, auto insurance, vehicle maintenance, and gas
- Clothing for the child
- Elementary, middle, and high school tuition, fees, books, and other supplies
- College or other post-secondary education savings accounts, tuition, fees, books, and other supplies
- Child care such as a day care center, nannies, babysitters, and after-school programs
- Sport fees and equipment
- Extracurricular activities like ballet, gymnastics, or music lessons
- The child’s medical, mental health, dental, and vision bills, including insurance coverage
- Religious education or implements
You Are Not Required to Account for Your Spending
Some paying parents want to be sure that their support goes to their children. This is often a valid concern. However, the receiving parent is not required to keep the child support in a specific account, use it for only certain expenses, or provide an accounting. Once you receive the child support, it is up to you how this money is used to best support your child. It may go toward obvious expenses such as housing, food, and clothing, but it may also go toward more indirect yet necessary costs like school field trips and over-the-counter medications.
Are There Any Restrictions?
While there are no statutory restrictions on spending child support, the court frowns upon you using child support for your personal needs or unnecessary expenses. However, since you may deposit the child support into your everyday checking or savings accounts, it is difficult for another parent to distinguish when you are spending child support or your own funds on yourself.
Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer for Help
Child support can become complicated for a number of reasons, particularly if your child has special needs or you and the other parent do not see eye-to-eye. However, Illinois law regarding child support is clear, and an experienced lawyer from Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. can help you receive the support you and your child need and protect your right to spend the money as you see fit.