Child Support in Illinois Divorce

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Illinois, like every other state in the USA has its child support rules and procedures. 'Child support' as the term suggests, is a financial contribution that both of the parents or any one parent make(s) in order to support their minor child. Generally, family courts order non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount per month so that the child can lead a decent life and his/her basic requirements are met. With this aim in view, Illinois child maintenance guidelines are developed. Since today many couples with children are getting separated from each other, child support in Illinois divorce has become an important matter of discussion.

Amount of Child Support in Illinois Divorce

Before finding out the child support amount, we must know the meaning of terms like 'child' and 'net income' in this state. In Illinois, the term 'child' refers to any individual who is less than 18 years of age or less than 19 years if he/she is still studying in high school. Net income of any individual is the sum total of all income from all sources, after making the following deductions:

  • State and Federal income Tax
  • Union dues
  • Medical expenses required to preserve health or life
  • Social Security(FICA)
  • Compulsory retirement contributions
  • Any prior obligation of maintenance or support ordered by a court and paid by the parent
  • Any debt expenses
  • Health insurance premiums for himself/herself or any dependent
  • Any expenses that is aimed at the benefit of the custodial parent and the child

As per the Illinois Statutory Guidelines, the following figures can be tabulated:

Child support amount as a percentage of non custodial parent's net income Number of children
50 percent 6 or more
45 percent 5
40 percent 4
32 percent 3
28 percent 2
20 percent 1

The above chart is utilized for each case. An exception happens when the court decides that the amount calculated as per the chart would not be appropriate taking into account the best interests of the child. Some of the factors that are accepted as reasonable deviations from the chart are as follows:

  • The necessities and financial resources of the non-custodial parent
  • The educational requirements, emotional condition and physical condition of the child/children
  • The standard of living the kids would have experienced in the following conditions:
    • Separation would not have happened
    • Marriage would not get dissolved
    • The couple would have married
  • The requirements and financial resources of the custodial parent as well as the child

Modification of Child Support orders in Illinois Divorce

Not every person related with a divorce case can request a modification in child subsidy order. A non-custodial parent, custodial parent or the guardian who lives with the child, another state's child support agency or the Healthcare and Family Services can request a modification review.

If there is a considerable alteration in the circumstances of the couple or any one parent, then it is possible to request a modification review. Some examples of such alteration are mentioned here:

  • Major change(usually an increase) in the needs of the child
  • Income of the non-custodial parent has undergone a change

In case of those families who receive public assistance, a modification review is executed after every 3 years.

If any county in Illinois, with the exception of Cook County, has issued the child maintenance order, then the request for modification can be dispatched in one of the methods mentioned below:

  • By sending an email to Child Support Enforcement
  • By faxing the relevant request
  • By sending a mail to the following address:
Attention: Mail Response Unit
Division of Child Support Enforcement
509 South Sixth Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701

If the child support order has been issued in the Cook County, the request for modification can be done in one of the following ways:

  • By sending an email to Child Support Enforcement
  • By faxing the relevant request
  • By sending a mail to the following address:
Division of Child Support Enforcement
10th Floor, 32 West Randolph Street,.
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Rule to Show Cause

Let us assume that the non-custodial parent is not observing the support order terms. For further enforcement of the order, it is essential to take the case back to court. This can be accomplished by a legal action known as 'a rule to show cause.' During this action, the non-custodial parent is obliged to furnish adequate proof to the judge that would provide enough reason for his/her delinquency.

Let us take an example. You are the custodial parent and your partner has disobeyed the support order. Now you need to file the petition for Rule to Show Cause where you will say that you have tried to convince your partner to pay the child maintenance, but have failed. You should also request the court to order the custodial parent to appear in the court and explain why he/she couldn't comply with the support order.

It is not possible to include all the rules pertaining to child support in Illinois in this article. You can get a basic idea by reading this and then discuss your issues with a family law counselor or an advocate.

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