Illinois Law on Child Support
Raising children is expensive. The cost of housing, clothing, food, extra-curricular expenses, and college can amount to several hundred thousand dollars. The list seems endless, particularly if these costs are paid from the income of only one parent.
Under Illinois law, both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, but not necessarily equally. Child support is not calculated by simply determining and splitting expenses.
In Illinois, child support issues are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Illinois Divorce Act”) which directs the Court to apply the calculations set out by 750 ILCS 5/505. The previous statute that required the non-custodial parent to pay a percentage of their income has been repealed and an entirely new system has been set up which requires both parents’ income in the equation. The State of Illinois has determined that had the parties stayed married, a portion of their joint income would be used for their children and the same principle should apply when they are divorced. The State of Illinois has employed economists that developed this calculation based on this philosophy. It is a complicated formula with several components and most attorneys utilize software to do the calculation.
Even though child support calculations are formula-based, there are individual circumstances that can factor into support awards (such as if the non-custodial parent is self-employed, gets paid in cash, or gets large fluctuating bonuses). As a result, under certain circumstances, the Court can deviate from the statutory formula.
It is also important to understand that net income as defined for child support purposes is generally not the same as take home pay. As child support is typically paid for many years, even small dollar errors can become significant. It is also possible that the primary parent may still be required to pay child support to the parent who has less parenting time. And, there is also the possibility to eliminate child support payments (i.e. shared custody/parenting time, which is more than 146 overnights).
How Attorney Faye M. Lyon can help reduce your stress and make sure the child support figure is accurate
Raising your children is expensive; you feel stressed and want the divorce to be over... Attorney Faye M. Lyon understands.
The complexities of Child Support do not end with finding all sources of income and applying a formula. Child Support is not deductible for tax purposes by the paying parent or taxable to the receiving parent. Child support payments are intended to cover necessary and miscellaneous expenses (i.e. housing, food, clothing, medical, education, recreation and vacation), but not all child-related expenses. Which parent is responsible to pay these other expenses, such as health insurance, day care, and extra-curricular expense, can now be assessed by the Court under the new statute.You need a good, detail-oriented Illinois child support attorney, such as Attorney Faye M. Lyon, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and investigate all possible sources of income. She can help reduce your stress by taking on the responsibility for investigating all sources of income, making sure the proper deductions are made to arrive at net income, and arguing for an upward or downward deviation from the Statutory Guidelines when appropriate. She will also make sure the responsibility for the payment of other child-related expenses (such as health insurance, day care, orthodontia, and private school tuition) not intended to be covered by child support is properly handled in the divorce.
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