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Family Law

Child Support

Illinois Child Support Frequently Asked Questions | Child Support FAQ

Illinois Child Support Frequently Asked Questions | Child Support FAQ

In this article, we will answer frequently asked questions about child support.  For a comprehensive overview of the the current state of Illinois child support law, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2018.

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How is Illinois Child Support Calculated When One Parent is Unemployed or Underemployed?

How is Illinois Child Support Calculated When One Parent is Unemployed or Underemployed?

In this article, we will answer the question, “how is child support calculated when one party is unemployed or underemployed?” We will discuss the difference between voluntary and involuntary unemployment or underemployment and what happens when it is in the best interest of the child for one parent to be unemployed or underemployed.

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Illinois Child Support in Shared Parenting Situations | Joint Custody and Child Support

Illinois Child Support in Shared Parenting Situations | Joint Custody and Child Support

In this article, we will explain how child support works in shared parenting situations (formerly known as “joint custody”) in Illinois.  We will explain illinois child support law prior to 2017 and how the law changed in 2017 when Illinois adopted the “income shares” model of child support.  We will explain the definition of a shared parenting situation and how Illinois child support is calculated differently in shared parenting situations.   

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How to Transfer a Child Support Case to Another State | How to Register a Different State’s Child Support Order in Illinois

How to Transfer a Child Support Case to Another State | How to Register a Different State’s Child Support Order in Illinois

In this article of Learn About Law, we talk about the process of transferring your child support case to another state and things you should consider during the process.

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Is There a Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Illinois?

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Illinois?

In this article, we discuss collection of past due child support in Illinois.  We explain the concept of statutes of limitations, and the ramifications of there being no statute of limitations for child support in Illinois.  

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Illinois Retroactive Child Support Explained

Illinois Retroactive Child Support Explained

The process of obtaining child support can be a frustrating and, at times, convoluted process without the right help and information. You may be wondering, “Can I get retroactive payments? How far back do the payments go? What rules surround applying for child support?” This article will shed light on the process and rules associated with getting retroactive child support in Illinois.

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lllinois Child Support 2018

lllinois Child Support 2018

In this article we will provide a comprehensive overview of Illinois child support law in 2018.  We answer many frequently asked questions including: how is Illinois child support calculated in 2018?, when can Illinois child support orders be modified?, and how is child support calculated if one parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed?  

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How to Enforce Child Support in Illinois

How to Enforce Child Support in Illinois

In this article, we will explain how to enforce a child support order in Illinois, including: if you should hire an attorney to enforce child support, what the penalties are for failing to pay child support in Illinois, and how to enforce child support owed by an out-of-state parent.   

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Illinois Child Support & College Expenses

Illinois Child Support & College Expenses

In this article we will explain under what circumstances a parent can be required by an Illinois court to pay child support for a child’s college expenses and other educational expenses after the child is no longer a minor.  

‍Child support is generally required in Illinois for children of separated parents until the child either reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school.  However, Illinois courts also have the discretion to award child support after the child has reached the age of majority for multiple reasons, including providing for the adult child’s education.  ​

‍The primary difference between child support for minor children and child support to provide for the education of adult children is that, while child support is automatically required for minor children, parents seeking child support for educational expenses after the child has reached the age of majority must prove to the court that the child support is appropriate.  

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Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2018

Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2018

On August 12, 2016, Governer Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-0764, which will change the manner in which Illinois divorce courts calculate child support.  The law became effective on July 1, 2017 and modifiedtwo sections of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("The IMDMA"), specifically 750 ILCS 5/505 and750 ILCS 5/510.  

According to the current child support law, which you can read about here, courts are directed to award as child support certain minimum percentages of the non-custodial parent's net income, regardless of the income of the custodial parent.  The new law replaces these minimum guidelines with an "income shares" model, which is already in use in most other states.   

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New Illinois Child Support Income Shares Guidelines For 2018

New Illinois Child Support Income Shares Guidelines For 2018

As we explain in our article Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2017, effective July 1, 2017, Illinois reformed its child support laws.  Under the former law, the amount that an obligor parent was required to pay in child support was based simply on the obligor’s income and the number of children involved.  

Under the new “income shares” model for calculating Illinois child support, the total amount of child support for which the parents are jointly responsible is calculated based on the combined net income of both parents.  Once this number is determined, each parent’s share of the responsibility for providing that amount of child support is calculated based on the net incomes of the parents relative to one another.

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How Is Child Support Calculated for Overtime, Bonuses, and Varying Income?

How Is Child Support Calculated for Overtime, Bonuses, and Varying Income?

A reader left a comment asking how child support is calculated when one of the parents' income includes inconsistent payments such as overtime or bonuses.  The purpose of this article is to explain how Illinois domestic relationships courts deal with varying income, overtime, and bonuses when calculating child support obligations.  ​

‍As we have discussed in previous articles, Illinois Child Support Explained and Changes to Illinois Child Support for 2017, under the current Illinois law, the amount of a parent's child support obligation is based largely on the "net income" of the non-custodial parent.  Under the changes to Illinois child support law that will go into effect on July 1, 2017, the amount of a parent's child support obligation is based on the relative "net incomes" of both parents.  

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How to Determine Child Support Jurisdiction

How to Determine Child Support Jurisdiction

In this article we explain interstate child support jurisdiction and how to determine which state has jurisdiction to initiate a child support case or modify or enforce an existing child support order.  Understanding child support is a complex issue, especially when multiple jurisdiction issues arise. Illinois abides by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. This act sets the rules in determining whether a specific state court has standing to hear or adjudicate on an order that was rendered in another state.

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How Does Spousal Maintenance Impact Child Support Obligations?

How Does Spousal Maintenance Impact Child Support Obligations?

On July 1, 2017, Public Act 99-0764 will go into effect, and modify Illinois child support laws.  Under the new law, which you can read all about here, each parent's responsibility for child support will be determined based on their "net incomes" relative to one another.  

A reader commented asking how maintenance payments will affect the parents' relative incomes under the new child support law.  In this article, we will explain how maintenance obligations (also known as alimony or spousal support) will affect child support support obligations under Illinois' 2017 child support law. 

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How Education Expenses & Parental Resources are Calculated for Child Support

How Education Expenses & Parental Resources are Calculated for Child Support

As explained in our prior article, effective July 1, 2017 child support will be evaluated using the “income shares” model.  This is a substantial change from the way child support is calculated now. Currently the amount of child support to be paid by the obligee (person required to pay child support) it is determined pursuant a fixed percentage of the obligee parent’s net income based on the number of children to be provided for.  For example, currently when there is only one child to be supported to Court sets the support obligation at 20% of the payee’s net income; if it is two (2) children then it becomes 28%; three (3) children the support obligation is equivalent to 32% of the obligees income.

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If My Ex Gets Remarried Will My Child Support Go Down?

If My Ex Gets Remarried Will My Child Support Go Down?

We were asked the following question on our Learn About Law Youtube Channel:

Q: My ex does not work but her husband makes twice what I make. Under the new law will they take his income into consideration?

A: If you are obligated to pay child support and your ex-spouse gets remarried, this will typically not have an have an effect on your child support obligations.  This is because child support payments are intended to provide for your child, not your ex-spouse.  Even if your ex-spouse is living in luxury her new husband will not have any legal obligation to support the child.  

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Illinois Child Support Modification Explained

Illinois Child Support Modification Explained

In this article we will discuss both the process for modifying child support obligations in Illinois and what constitutes a "substantial change in circumstances" that would allow child support to be modified.  For some foundational information, check out our articles: Illinois Child Support Law Explained and Changes to Illinois Child Support Law for 2017.

WHEN CAN CHILD SUPPORT BE MODIFIED IN ILLINOIS?

In Illinois, a temporary child support order that has been entered while a child support proceeding is pending may be modified any time before the entry of a final judgment.  Child support that has been established by a final judgment may be modified at any time from the entry of the order until the termination of the obligor parent's obligation to pay child support under the order.  

However, although child support may be modified at any time, a "substantial change in circumstances" must be demonstrated in order of the child support obligation to be modified. 

WILL I BE ABLE TO MODIFY MY CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION BASED ON THE NEW ILLINOIS CHILD SUPPORT LAW THAT WILL GO INTO EFFECT ON JULY 1, 2017?

Even though Illinois Child Support laws will change on July 1, 2017, leading to a different model for calculation of child support for child support orders entered after that date, this change in the law will not alone constitute a basis for the modification of existing child support obligations entered before July 1, 2017.  If your child support order was entered prior to July 1, 2017, you will still need to demonstrate a "substantial change in circumstances" other than the passage of the new law in order to have your child support obligation modified.  However, if you are able to demonstrate a "substantial change of circumstances" after July 1, 2017, any modification of your child support will be calculated according to the new Illinois child support law. 

HOW TO MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT IN ILLINOIS

Illinois child support obligations can only be modified by filing a petition for increase or decrease in child support with the court that has jurisdiction over your case.  The petition should state the basis for the request for modification as well as a "prayer for relief" explaining the change in child support obligation that you are requesting from the court.

Because you are seeking modification of an existing order, you do not need to serve the petition by sheriff.  You can serve notice of the petition by mail at the responding party's last known address. Note that if the petition seeks other action by the court other than the modification of child support, such as a change in the allocation of parental time and responsibility, the petition must be served by certified mail 30 days prior to the date of the hearing.

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How is Child Support Calculated for Multiple Families in Illinois?

How is Child Support Calculated for Multiple Families in Illinois?

One of our readers commented on our article about changes to Illinois child support laws that will go into effect on July 1, 2017, with the following question:

How is child support calculated if the father has child support obligations to multiple families?  What if one of the children is in a different state

According to the child support law that will be in effect in Illinois until July 1, 2017, courts are provided with guidelines for the percentage of the non-custodial parent's net income that should be awarded as child support each month, based on the number of children of the particular parents involved.  You can read more about the current law here.  

In July 1, 2017, Illinois law will change to an "income shares" model of child support.  According to the new law, courts will use economic tables to determine a baseline level of child support for which both parents will be responsible.  Each parent's share of this responsibility will be based on their relative net incomes.  You can read about the new law in more detail here. 

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Illinois Child Support Law Explained

Illinois Child Support Law Explained

Child support is the responsibility and obligation of both parents to provide for a child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. It is not simply a financial matter, as many people assume. In any instance where a child’s parents are no longer living together or married, the residential parent is entitled to support from the non-residential parent.

‍The main question most parents have when the topic of child support comes up is how the court determines the amount of child support which the support paying parent will be ordered to pay. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides a detailed outline as to the state minimums the court will use to determine child support obligations. The IMDMA guidelines require the support-paying parent to pay from their net income as follows: twenty percent (20%) for one child; twenty-eight percent (28%) for two children; thirty-two percent (32%) for three children; forty percent (40%) for four children; forty-five percent (45%) for five; and fifty percent (50%) for six or more children. The net income is determined as the income after taxes, social security, retirement contributions, health insurance and several other deductions permitted under state statute.

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