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What Expenses Are Covered by Child Support?

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles family law attorneyParents who get divorced will need to address a variety of issues related to financial support for their children. While both parents are expected to contribute financially to their children’s needs, understanding exactly what is covered by child support can sometimes be a complex matter. By working with an attorney to understand how the law applies in their situation, parents can ensure that their children will have the necessary financial resources, while also making sure they will have the means to support themselves.

Basic Child Support and Additional Child-Related Expenses

In Illinois, parents’ child support obligations are determined using a method that takes both parents’ incomes into consideration. The law details a method of calculating what is known as the “basic child support obligation.” This amount is meant to represent the regular, ongoing expenses that parents would have paid for their children if they were still married.

Each parent is required to pay a portion of the basic child support obligation, but rather than dividing this amount in half, it is allocated based on each parent’s percentage of their combined income. This basic obligation is meant to address children’s ongoing, daily needs. That is, it will cover living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities for the home where the children live the majority of the time, as well as children’s food and clothing.

In addition to these basic needs, there are a variety of other expenses that parents may need to pay when raising children. In addition to what is covered by the basic child support obligation, parents may need to address:

  • Medical expenses - Parents will usually be required to obtain health insurance coverage for children. Health insurance premiums for children may be divided between the parents. While basic, ordinary medical expenses are usually included in the basic child support obligation, any extraordinary expenses that are not covered by insurance may also need to be addressed. Expenses related to dental or orthodontic care, psychological treatment, medications, or occupational therapy or other forms of treatment for a child with special needs may be added to the parents’ child support order.

  • Extracurricular activities - Children may participate in a variety of activities that are meant to enhance their social, cultural, or athletic development. Expenses related to these activities, including enrollment fees or purchasing or renting sports equipment or musical instruments, may be divided between the parents.

  • Educational expenses - Parents may be required to divide school enrollment fees or other related expenses, including school supplies or school uniforms, private school tuition, or tutoring.

  • Child care - Children may need to attend daycare or receive other forms of care while parents are working. Parents will usually be required to divide the costs of employment-related child care.

Contact Our St. Charles Child Support Attorneys

While it is important to ensure that children will have the necessary financial support, parents will also need to make sure they will be able to cover their own living expenses. The attorneys of Goostree Law Group can advise you of your child support requirements, and we will help you reach agreements that will meet your ongoing financial needs. Contact our Kane County child support lawyers at 630-584-4800 to set up a free consultation today.



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