St. Charles Child Support Attorneys

Attorneys for Child Support Matters in Kane County

When parents choose to get a divorce, or when unmarried parents separate, they will need to determine how to pay various expenses involved in raising and caring for their children. Child support payments are used to provide children in these situations with the same financial security they would have if their parents were married or cohabiting in a committed relationship. In Illinois, the process of child support calculation is governed by state statutes. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides guidelines for the court to follow when setting child support.

At Goostree Law Group, our attorneys provide representation for spouses with children during the divorce process, ensuring that child support orders can be established correctly. We also work with unmarried parents to ensure that children receive the necessary support, and we can help establish paternity to ensure that these obligations can be put in place. We provide compassionate support and representation in multiple types of family law cases, and we work to ensure that the best interests of our client's children are protected at all times.

How Is Child Support Determined in Illinois?

In the past, the methods used to calculate child support were fairly simple. The parent with a child support obligation would be required to pay a certain percentage of their income to the other parent each month. These arrangements reflected the structure of many families in previous decades, where fathers would often earn the majority of the household income, and mothers would typically remain at home and handle parental duties. However, family structures have changed, and in most modern families, both parents work and contribute to household expenses. Because of this, the methods used to calculate child support have been redefined.

The laws in Illinois provide guidelines for the court to follow when calculating the amount of child support each parent will be obligated to pay. An "income sharing" method is used that takes the incomes earned by both parents into account. First, a base amount of money is determined that represents the amount that married or cohabitating parents would typically be expected to spend to address the needs of their children on a monthly basis. This is known as the "basic support obligation," and the amount will be based on the combined monthly income of the parents and the number of children they have.

The basic support obligation is divided between the parents in proportion to the actual income earned by each parent. For example, if the father earns 70 percent of the couple's combined income, he would be responsible for 70 percent of the basic child support obligation. Typically, the parent who will have the majority of the parenting time with their children will receive child support payments from the other parent. This parent, who is sometimes referred to as the custodial parent, will be presumed to be directly spending their portion of the basic support obligation to address the children's needs. In some cases, children may divide their time equally between their parents' homes or in a similar manner (such as a 60/40 split). These situations, which are known as "shared physical care," may require additional calculations to child support, with each parent's percentage of parenting time affecting their obligations.

In addition to the amount of basic child support obligations, parents may also need to determine how they will divide other child-related costs, including extracurricular and medical expenses, as well as the costs of childcare while parents are working. A parent's child support payments may be increased to address these additional costs, ensuring that both parents are contributing to their children's ongoing needs. Parents may also be obligated to contribute toward their children's college expenses, ensuring that the children will be able to pursue opportunities and build successful careers after reaching adulthood.

Contact Our St. Charles Child Support Attorneys

Every divorce case is different, and there are a wide variety of factors that are considered when determining child support obligations. At Goostree Law Group, we understand the intricacies of the child support laws in Illinois, and we have a great deal of experience in child support proceedings, including establishing net income for child support calculations and determining what expenses may need to be included in child support orders.

Please contact our St. Charles, Illinois child support lawyers at 630-584-4800 to ask a question or set up a free, confidential consultation.

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