In recent years, the way child support obligations are determined in Illinois has changed. Previously, the amount of child support a parent had to pay was a percentage based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children. For example, a person would pay 20% of their income for one child or 28% of their income for two children.
Today, Illinois practices an “income shares” system when it comes to deciding how much a parent contributes to the support of his or her child after divorce. Using a chart provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, a child support obligation is determined based on the parents’ combined net income and the number of children. This amount is then divided between the parents according to each parent’s percentage of the combined income.
In some cases, additional calculations may need to be performed to divide the support obligation between parents who share near-equal amounts of parenting time. The court may also choose to deviate from guidelines in order to protect the best interests of the child. Parents may also be required to contribute to expenses such as child care costs, educational expenses, and extracurricular activities.
Child Support Enforcement
Every child has the right to financial support from both parents, so when one parent refuses to pay child support, everyone loses. This affects the child and the custodial parent. A non-paying parent can face serious consequences, and they will be required to pay child support owed, as well as interest on delinquent payments. If a parent has not received multiple child support payments, they can reach out to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services. A parent who refuses to pay court-ordered child support may be held in contempt of court, which can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, or jail time.
Termination of Child Support
Children rely on their parents for support, especially during the first few years of their lives. However, once a child is legally an adult at 18 years old, a parent is no longer obligated to make child support payments, unless they are ordered to do so in a special circumstance, such as a disability. Parents may also be required to contribute to children’s college expenses. A parent may no longer be required to pay child support if the child is active in the military, if they have been emancipated and are self-supporting, or if parental rights are terminated through a legal process such as adoption.
Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
Court-ordered child support is necessary to provide for a child’s needs, and when one party is not fulfilling their obligations, there are systems in place to make sure payments are made. Contact an experienced Wheaton divorce lawyer if you need help determining or enforcing child support. Call our offices at 630-933-8400 to schedule a free consultation.