In this article, we discuss how to maximize your amount of child support in Illinois and answer the following questions:
When parents get a legal separation or divorce, part of the overall process involves determining child support payments. Often, the parent with whom the child lives will receive the child support award periodically. The amount of child support awarded depends on several financial, emotional, and medical factors. Child support is meant to maintain consistency in the child’s life and to help the residential parent afford the various necessities associated with raising a child. Whether you’re in the early stage of the divorce process or feel that modifying an existing child support order is necessary, there are many elements you should consider to maximize your child support award.
In 2017 Illinois updated their child support law in favor of a more flexible and encompassing system referred to as the “income shares model.” For an up to date and in-depth review of this model, check out our article “Changes To Illinois Child Support Laws 2019”. A summarized breakdown of Illinois child support calculation is as follows:
Illinois considers the typical costs of raising a family—with whatever number of children are shared between the married couple—and applies to the income level that would have been in place had the parents stayed together. But, if there are any changes in employment following the divorce this would necessitate a change in child support. Depending on the timing of this new employment a child support modification may be necessary.
Beyond the basic child support obligation, number of children in the family, and the parent’s income, there are a number of other factors that can affect the amount of child support awarded. Additional expenses and needs that should be brought to the court’s attention can include:
Worst case scenario, if you’re not sure if something should be included ask your attorney and list it anyways. The worst that happens is it is denied.
Life is not static. It would be ignorant to believe that once child support is set no changes can be made in the future. Parent’s should be prepared to pay more or less into child support and likewise receive more or less depending on the financial changes of both parties. Certain things, such as one of the parents remarrying, can have a potentially permanent effect on child support payments, but more often they are short or medium-term events that require modification of child support. Some common reasons for filing a modification to increase child support include:
If you’re unsure whether you’ve maximized your potential child support award and feel you’re entitled to more, give us a call and speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys.
O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in: