Reeder & Brown, P.C.


How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Illinois?

 Posted on October 22, 2021 in Divorce

IL family lawyerIllinois family law is primarily interested in preserving the best interests of children. Because both parents have a financial obligation to support children, child support payments must be calculated when parents get divorced. This can be a stressful experience for both parents, and a certain amount of anxiety and frustration is normal.

Calculating child support payments in an Illinois divorce or child support order modification is done according to a formula, but it is not a simple process. Illinois uses a process known as the “income shares method” to determine each parent’s financial obligation and whether one parent must make payments to the other. We will discuss this method in some detail below.

How Does a Parent’s Income Influence Child Support Payments?

Both parents must share their gross monthly income in a financial affidavit with supporting evidence like pay stubs or W-2s. Then, using a standardized chart, the parents’ gross incomes are used to estimate their “Standardized Net Income.” By combining each parent’s Standardized Net Income, child support payments are then estimated using the Income Shares Schedule chart to determine the total child support amount parents must contribute. Then, according to the percentage of the parents’ Combined Net Income each parent earns, as well as how much time each parent spends with the child, final monthly payments are determined.

Additional Factors in Child Support Payments

Parents and their attorneys can use online child support calculators to estimate child support payments, but sometimes children have additional expenses that change monthly payments. Medical expenses, educational support, and after-school child care can all cause payments to increase. Other factors, such as individuals with high net worth incomes that exceed the income shares table, can complicate the calculation and judges can depart from standard payment formulas to determine final payments.

When Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?

Once a child support order is entered, it cannot be changed unless one parent experiences a substantial change in circumstances. A minor increase or decrease in income generally does not constitute a substantial change, but large bonuses, job loss, remarriage, and other child or spousal support obligations are often grounds for modification.

Speak with a Will County Child Support Lawyer

Calculating child support in Illinois is a complex process that takes many factors into account. An experienced Joliet child support attorney at Reeder & Brown, P.C. can help you know what to expect for your own case and will provide attentive client service throughout your divorce. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling our offices today at 815-885-5980.


Share this post:
Back to Top