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A parent may be ordered to pay child support in the event that he or she separates from the child’s other parent. The amount of child support ordered depends on income and, to some extent, the amount of parenting time (visitation) each parent has with their child. Because child support laws vary on a state-by-state basis, it is important to know what child support covers, who has an obligation to pay child support, and how child support is calculated in Illinois. If a person fails to pay his or her child support payment, he or she may face legal consequences as a direct result. If you need help understanding child support, do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney.

What Does Child Support Cover?

Child support is designed to cover all basic needs of a child. This includes needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Further, both parents may be obligation to contribute to other expenses of the child including, but not limited to, educational expenses, day care expenses, extracurricular activity expenses, and out-of-pocked medical expenses. A child support order is a mandatory order.

Who May Be Ordered to Pay Child Support?

Typically the parent who has more parenting time (visitation) with the child receives child support. This is commonly referred to as the residential custodial parent. Child support will be paid until the child reaches 18 years of age, unless the child is still in high school, in which case the support obligation will be extended to the child’s graduation, but in no event past age 19. This can be found in 750 ILCS Section 505. A child support order is non-negotiable; once a court has issued a child support order, the supporting parent is obligated to make payments in full and on time.

Calculating Child Support in Illinois

According to the same section of code cited above, a court must consider the following when making a child support determination in Illinois:

  • The financial resources and needs of the child;
  • The financial resources and needs of each parent;
  • The standard of living of the child; and
  • The needs of the child physically, emotionally, mentally, and educationally.

Any special needs of the child will also be considered. Further, the court may consider other costs, such as the costs of:

  • Health care;
  • Daycare;
  • Education; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

A person who has other financial commitments, such as an alimony/maintenance payment, or student loans, may pay less in child support payments.

Consulting with an Illinois Child Support Attorney

If you are separating from your child’s other parent, child support questions are something that you will no doubt face. Whether you are a parent who is facing a support obligation or a parent who is seeking child support, the experienced Illinois child support attorneys at Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C. can help. Remember, even if you are not married to your child’s other parent at the time of your separation, you still have the right to child support. To learn more about child support order in Illinois and factors that influence a support order, contact us for a free case consultation today by calling 630-961-0060.

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