Parentage cases in Illinois, which were formerly called paternity cases, are the proper starting point for unmarried parents who have not previously been in court on any child support or custody matter. Under Illinois law, there is a presumption that a father who signs a birth certificate of a child is the legal father of the child. However, a mother or father wishing to bring a petition for child support, custody, visitation, or related relief must first seek an order requesting that parentage be established. This can be accomplished through consent, or in the case where consent is not offered, through a DNA test ordered by the court. Once a parent/child relationship is legally established, the parents of the children may petition the court for child support, parenting time/visitation, and other relief as allowed by law.
Child support in Illinois is governed by guidelines set forth in the law. The guidelines set child support at a certain percentage of net income, based on the amount of children you are supporting under the order. For one child, the guideline amount is 20% of net income, two children is 28%, three children is 32%, four children is 40%, five children is 45%, and more than five children is 50%. If you are a parent who needs child support, we can help you. We can also help you if you are the parent who pays child support and would like to modify a child support order or defend against an inaccurate child support arrearage. Our attorneys have experience with child support cases involving low to high income, deviation from guidelines, discretionary income, and small business income.