Child Support

Illinois Child Support Guidelines, Payments, and Disputes

The adoption of standard guidelines to regulate the determination and payment of child support in Illinois divorce and paternity cases has done a great deal to eliminate arguments between parents about whether and how much child support is to be paid. The Illinois laws and guidelines are somewhat simpler and more streamlined than they are in many other states, so it is usually easy to determine what the basic child support obligation will be.

There are certain situations, however, where use of the guidelines will not yield an accurate or equitable result, from the standpoint of either the paying spouse or of the children. To learn how our experienced lawyers can help you resolve difficult child support issues, contact the Barrington office of Thomas W. Hunter, Attorney at Law.

The basic Illinois Child Support Guidelines provide that the noncustodial parent pay 20 to 50 percent of net income each month toward the support of his or her children, with the percentage increasing along a scale indicating the number of children under 18, or 18 years of age and still in high school. For example, a noncustodial parent with a net monthly income of $3,500 and two children would pay 28 percent, or $980, in child support to the parent with primary custody of the child.

Factors that can complicate child support determinations and lead to disputes include any of the following:

  • Self-employed noncustodial parents whose net incomes are easy to understate or overestimate, and difficult to prove precisely
  • Seasonally employed or underemployed noncustodial parents
  • Previous child support obligations concerning children from a prior marriage or relationship
  • Special needs of a child with a disability or chronic medical or behavioral condition
  • Special needs of a gifted or talented child

In cases involving children with special needs of any kind, it is generally necessary for the parent receiving child support to present evidence demonstrating that the given impairment or talent has economic consequences that should be reflected in the child support award. It is not enough to allege and prove a condition of special need-financial implications must also be proved.

Our experience with the resolution of child support disputes can help protect your interests while making sure that the interests of your children are fully considered. We can also represent either parent after the divorce becomes final in proceedings to modify or enforce child support decrees on the basis of changed circumstances or default. For a free consultation about your rights and obligations concerning child support in the suburbs of Chicago, contact the law firm of Thomas W. Hunter, Attorney at Law in Barrington.