Schedule a Consultation

Illinois Child Support: Is a Spouse's Income a Parental Resource for Non-Minor Educational Expenses?

Updated on
November 1, 2019
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article we will answer reader questions about Illinois child support and explain non-minor educational expenses as well as whether a new spouse's income is considered a "parental resource" when calculating child support. For an overview of Illinois child support law, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019.

As explained in our prior article, effective July 1, 2017 child support in Illinois is determined using an “income shares” model.  This is a substantial change from the way child support was previously calculated in Illinois. Previously, the amount of child support to be paid by the obligee (person required to pay child support) was determined based on a fixed percentage of the obligee parent’s net income and the number of children to be provided for.  

A reader commented on our article asking to expand on non-minor educational expenses and parental resources of the new child support law and to elaborate on if the non-custodial’s new spouse’s income considered a potential resource and if it can be requested. 

Illinois Child Support and Non-Minor Educational Expenses Explained

Child support is always required in Illinois as long as the child is under the age of 18 or still in high school. If a child graduates highschool prior to turning 18, this may cause child support to terminate. However, courts may award child support for post-highschool educational expenses.

Illinois courts weigh several factors when determining whether to award child support for non-minor educational expenses. One of the key factors is the resources of the parents.

For a more complete discussion of how courts determine whether to award child support for non-minor educational expenses, please see our article, Illinois Child Support & College Expenses.

Does a New Spouse's Income Qualify As a Parental Resource For the Purpose of Illinois Child Support?

With the understanding that parental resources are a key factor in determining whether to award child support for non-minor educational expenses, the next question is whether income from one of the parties' new spouses counts as a parental resource. The short answer is that a spouse's income is not a parental resource for the purpose of child support.

The “parental resources” the courts will now be focusing on will be determined largely based upon each party’s respective income. Income is defined as income from all sources minus statutory deductions.  

Courts typically will not consider a new spouse's income as a potential resource, because child support calculations only take into account the incomes of the biological parents of the child. A spouse of either the obligor or obligee has no legal obligation to spend his or her income for the care of the obligor and obligee's child. The income of the new spouse is therefore irrelevant to any support calculations.

So the bottom line is that the argument that the obligor's spouse has significant income, and that therefore the obligor should be required to pay for post-highschool education will not be successful. Similarly, if the obligee marries an individual with significant income, this will not negatively impact the obligee's chances of receiving child support for educational expenses.

Illinois Child Support: Is a Spouse's Income a Parental Resource for Non-Minor Educational Expenses?
Author

Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O’Flaherty is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has experience in litigation, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate, and comprehensive business representation.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

Open Hours

Mon - Fri

9am - 5pm

By Appointment

Mon - Fri

after 5pm

Saturday

11 am - 3pm

Sunday

11 am - 2 pm


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

Open Hours

Mon - Fri

9am - 5pm

By Appointment

Mon - Fri

after 5pm

Saturday

11 am - 3pm

Sunday

11 am - 2 pm


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Who We are

We are your community law firm. Our Iowa & Illinois Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation specific to your legal situation.