Kane County Child Support Lawyers

Family Law Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Illinois

Few issues evoke such emotional responses as child support. It is quite common for the parent ordered to pay child support to feel that he or she is paying too much in support and seeing the child too little; the parent receiving support may feel that the support he or she does receive from the other parent is not enough to provide for the child’s needs. This can result in frequent, heated disputes.

Whether parents are in the process of setting child support for the first time or are seeking a modification of an existing order, an experienced Illinois family law attorney can help with understanding the process of determining a child support amount and advise on whether a court will modify an existing child support order.

How Is Child Support Initially Calculated?

Calculating an initial child support amount regularly occurs in most divorce, paternity, and/or custody cases. Unlike other states, Illinois courts are directed to consider the net income of the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have the child living with him or her regularly). The net income is that parent’s gross income less certain permissible deductions, like federal and state taxes. That parent’s child support obligation is then calculated as a percentage of his or her net income. The more children that parent has, the greater percentage of his or her net income is ordered as his or her obligation. For example, a non-custodial parent’s obligation for one child is 20 percent; if that parent has six or more children, that parent’s obligation jumps to 50 percent of his or her net income.

What if a Child Support Award Does Not Adequately Provide for My Children?

In certain circumstances, the court is permitted to deviate from the presumed amount of child support and award a higher amount. For instance, the presumed child support amount can be adjusted if:

  • The child enjoyed or would have enjoyed a higher standard of living but for the separation;
  • The child has ongoing medical, educational, mental, or other special needs;
  • The resources of both parents and the needs of the child suggest the amount should be higher or lower; or
  • Any special custody arrangement exists between the parents.

What if I Need to Modify the Child Support?

Either parent may ask the court to modify a previously-entered child support order by filing a petition with the court. Whichever parent asks to modify the order must show that there has been a material change of circumstance justifying the modification. Temporary changes such as a short-term illness are not likely to result in a modification; however, one parent’s promotion or prolonged unemployment can be considered a material change of circumstance.

Contact Our Attorneys for Help

Although Illinois’ formula for calculating child support may seem simple, it takes the knowledge and skill of an experienced family law attorney to ensure the child support amount ordered is fair. The skilled Sugar Grove family law attorneys at White & Ekker, P.C. can help ensure the court considers all relevant factors in setting or modifying your child support. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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