2 N. Riverside Plaza,
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-897-2010

Crystal Lake

333 Commerce Dr.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Phone: 815-455-3000


1990 Algonquin Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847-637-5140


2 N. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 1830
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312.897.2010

Crystal Lake

333 Commerce Dr.
Ste. 900
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Phone: 815.455.3000


1990 Algonquin Rd.
Ste. 240
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847.637.5140


7047 East Greenway Parkway
Suite 250
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: 847-637-5140

Additional offices in Warrenville, Naperville, Saint Charles, and Lake Forest

Divorce and Family Law

Child Support

Parents in Illinois always have the legal obligation to contribute financially with respect to raising their minor children, regardless of whether they maintain an intact relationship. Therefore, the topic of child support will come up in divorce cases or after legally establishing paternity. These amounts are intended to cover the high costs of raising a child, including medical care, education, religion, extracurricular activities, and many others. While many parents usually agree that they are equally responsible for contributing, they may not always see eye-to-eye on the details.

Our lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. recognize that child support laws can be difficult to understand, and the issue can be a contentious one. Whether you are the payor or recipient, you have important rights to protect. We are ready to explain the relevant concepts and advocate on your behalf in court, so please contact us today. You can schedule a complimentary consultation with an Illinois child support attorney, though you might also benefit from reviewing some background information.

Child Support

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services establishes child support guidelines. In most cases, child support in Illinois is calculated based on a formula that considers the net income or take-home pay of both parents. Net income is defined as amounts received from all sources, including wages, bonuses, commissions, investments, insurance settlements, and others. This figure is adjusted for purposes of federal and state income taxes to arrive at the basic child support obligation. Note that a parent cannot evade child support obligations by being voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. The laws impute income unless the individual is disabled or can show legitimate efforts for job hunting.

The child support calculation also considers the amount of overnight parenting time or visitation exercised by each parent. When they share equal parenting time, at least 146 overnights per year, Illinois law uses a multiplier to estimate the obligation. If one parent has more parenting time than the other, the child support amount will be adjusted to account for the variance.

Note that a court is allowed to deviate from the income shares model and baseline child support amount. A judge may order a decrease when the payor parent earns a lower income, but it is also common to increase the obligation. If it is in the child’s best interests, the court will assess:

  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents stayed married.
  • The child’s educational needs.
  • The financial resources of both parents.

The child support obligation continues until the child turns 18 years old, or 19 years old if he or she is still in high school. Still, a court can order amounts for a non-minor’s educational expenses, including:

  • Room and board
  • Tuition and school fees
  • Amounts for books and supplies
  • Utilities, food, and other living expenses

The divorce lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. are expertly trained to prosecute and defend all types of child support claims.

Temporary Child Support

Temporary child support is the support paid by one parent to the other parent during the divorce case but before the final divorce decree is entered by the court. The divorce attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. work diligently to complete your divorce case as quickly as possible. However, some divorce cases take longer to resolve, and many cases involve a request by one of the parents for temporary child support. The skilled divorce lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. have substantial education, training, experience, and expertise with respect to temporary child support proceedings in the divorce court.

Modifications of Child Support

A child support order entered by a court has the effect of law, so there are consequences for violating it. Even if the parents agree to change the amount, they must go to court to alter the existing order. Generally, child support judgments can be modified if either parent experiences a substantial change in his or her financial circumstances. Examples include:

  • The payor loses a job or experiences a significant reduction in income, involuntarily.
  • The child’s needs have changed, particularly with respect to health concerns.
  • The parents have modified the residential arrangement and/or parenting time, either by agreement or through modification proceedings.
  • One parent sought to relocate with the child, which request was approved by a judge.

In such cases, the amount of child support may be increased or decreased depending upon the circumstances. Child support modifications in most cases are effective as of the date of the filing of a motion to increase or decrease the payment amount.

To avoid overpaying or receiving less than you are entitled to, immediately contact a Bruning & Associates, P.C. divorce lawyer if your financial circumstances permit you to increase the child support that you receive, or if your circumstances permit you to decrease the amount you pay for child support.

Enforcing Child Support Orders

The basic arrangement for child support is through deductions from the payor’s wages, via an order directed to the employer. However, a parent may attempt to sidestep the obligation by working for cash, not reporting new employment, or leaving the state. There are strategies for enforcement, and the Illinois child support attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. are well-versed in the process for pursuing an individual. You could face penalties for nonpayment, so it is best to go through modification if unable to pay.

Our Illinois Child Support Lawyers Will Assist with Important Legal Tasks

It is helpful for parents to know the basics, but there are many details that you should entrust to a skilled child support attorney. Our team at Bruning & Associates, P.C. has extensive experience with obtaining, enforcing, and modifying child support orders, so we are ready to support you. We have offices conveniently located near you in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake, Illinois. Please contact Bruning & Associates P.C. to schedule your free consultation with one of our talented Illinois child support lawyers today to discuss your situation.

Serving divorce clients in child support, temporary child support, and modifications of child support matters in Northern Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, McHenry County, Lake County, Will County, Boone County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, LaSalle County, and Winnebago County.

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