Schedule a Consultation

What is the Definition of “Net Income” for Illinois Child Support?

Updated on
October 28, 2019
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we will explain the definition of "net income" for Illinois child support. We will explain how child support is calculated in Illinois, as well as how courts determine net income for the purpose of calculating child support in Illinois.

For an overview of Illinois child support law, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019.

How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

On July 1, 2017, Illinois changed the way child support is calculated by switching to the “income shares” model already in use in many other states.  Any child support obligations from orders entered after that date will be calculated as follows:

  • First, the court determines the total amount of child support for which the parents are collectively responsible using economic guidelines that you can learn more about here: Illinois Child Support Guidelines.
  • Once the court has determined how much child support the parents are jointly responsible for, the court then divides that responsibility among the parents based on each parent’s “net income” relative to one another.  

This means that if you are the payor, the higher your net income, the higher your child support obligation is likely to be.  On the other hand, a higher net income from the recipient tends to reduce the payor’s child support obligation.  

How is “Net Income” Calculated for the Purpose of Illinois Child Support?

Gross income is any money that the party receives from any source.  Net income is the party’s gross income less the following types of income:

  • Federal and state income tax;
  • Social Security payments;
  • Any mandatory retirement contributions that are either legally required or required by an employer;
  • Prior child support obligations;
  • Union dues;
  • Prior spousal maintenance obligations;
  • Health insurance premiums;
  • Money spent to repay debts that are reasonable and necessary to produce income; and
  • Money spent for the reasonable benefit of the child or other parent.

If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court may use potential income rather than actual income in calculating net income for the purpose of child support.  For more on this, check our our article: How is Child Support Calculated When One Parent is Unemployed or Underemployed?

What is the Definition of “Net Income” for Illinois Child Support?
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

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone, Zoom Call, or in person at any of our office locations in:

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.