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

If you are considering divorce and have children in Illinois, child support payments will need to be paid. Child support refers to the parent’s ongoing or periodic payments to the other parent to raise the child. The idea of child support is to cover the financial and emotional needs of the child after divorce.

While Illinois law may seem straightforward on child support, working with experienced Crystal Lake divorce attorneys is vital to ensure the child’s needs are provided for. Find out the Illinois guidelines for child support payments below, then contact Bruning & Associates if you have questions.

Illinois Child Support Laws

The current Illinois child support law considers the income of both parents to calculate the appropriate monthly payment. The combined incomes of both parents determine child support. The old law relied on a flat percentage based on the number of children, but that rule is no longer in effect.

The current law calculates child support as follows:

  • First, determine each parent’s net income by putting their gross income through a conversion charge for gross to net income.
  • Combine the net incomes of both parents to arrive at the combined net income.
  • Determine percentages of the parents’ combined net income.
  • Multiply that figure by the percentage of net income of each parent.
  • The number that is determined is the child support obligation for each parent. The figure for the paying parent is what should be paid monthly to the non-paying parent.

The Illinois income-shares rule states that family courts consider typical childrearing costs should be similar to the income that would be there if the parents did not divorce. So, if both parents work and earn money, both incomes are combined to determine what is needed to raise the child.

Illinois family courts consider the following costs when arriving at a child support figure:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Medical expenses
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing

What Is Considered Child Support in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support includes the funds needed to keep a decent, safe home for your child, such as:

  • Household costs such as the mortgage, rent, food, furniture, utilities
  • Toys, clothes, shoes, and other basic requirements
  • School fees, books, supplies, and what it costs to play sports and related extra-curricular activities
  • Medical costs, dental expenses, glasses, and related health and wellness costs

Child support payments are designed to only support the child in a divorce or separation. So, the parent receiving the money for child support may not use it for their personal clothing, entertainment, going out to eat, or going on vacation. Child support also should never be used to pay for the parent’s:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Firearms
  • Tattoos

If the parent receiving child support has extra money at month’s end, they should put it into a savings account.
Then, the money should be applied to future child needs.

What Is Net Income in Illinois for Child Support Calculations?

Net income is determined by subtracting the standardized tax amount or individualized tax amount from the parent’s gross income. Gross income means income that comes from all sources, EXCEPT:

  • Public assistance program benefits
  • Benefits or income the parent gets for other children in the home

Illinois Child Support Serves the Best Interests of the Child

Family courts may sometimes order a child support payment different from the state minimum. This may be the case if the court finds a deviation between the minimum amount and what is in the child’s best interests. Factors that are considered when looking at the best interests of the child include:

  • The child’s financial needs
  • The financial obligations of each parent
  • The educational, emotional, and physical needs of the child
  • The standard of living the child had when the parents were married

After the family court orders child support, it only can be changed if the court determines a change in circumstances has occurred. For example, if the parent paying child support is injured and cannot work for several months, the child support order could be changed.

Also, state law says the child support order is over when the child turns 18, or graduates from high school if they are 18 and still in school. Child support is seldom ordered past the child’s 19th birthday.

The parent’s child support obligation also ends in these cases:

  • Marries
  • Joins the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines
  • Takes a job and does not need the parent’s financial support
  • Move into their own home and wants to live on their own

Illinois Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

Who must pay child support when there is shared custody?

Even if you and your ex have joint custody, one is required to pay child support. If you make more than your ex-partner, you may need to pay child support.

Does the mother’s income affect the child support payment?

Yes. The mother’s income is part of the combined adjusted net income calculation that determines the monthly child support payment.

Can you pay your child support in other ways?

It is unwise to try to pay child support by compensating your ex by buying the child extra items, such as clothing, If the court issued a child support order, you will not receive credit unless you adhere to the payment schedule.

What happens if a child support collection case is filed?

If you have a child support case filed against you, you must show proof you made your child support payments. If you cannot prove the payments and your ex denies you made them, you are not given credit by the court.

Can my spouse waive child support payments?

No. If you are required by the court to make payments, your ex-partner’s promise to waive payments will not be honored. The court will require you to honor the payment schedule it set up.

Contact Our Crystal Lake Child Support Attorneys Today

Are you thinking about divorce? This is one of life’s most stressful and upsetting parts, and the financial and emotional costs can be high. That is the reason partnering with Crystal Lake child support attorneys who will fight for the best financial and child custody agreement is vital.

Our child support attorneys proudly serve Chicago, Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, and Scottsdale, AZ. Our attorneys also work out of Warrensville, Naperville, Lake Forest, and Saint Charles offices. Please contact our Crystal Lake divorce attorneys today for a complimentary consultation: (815) 415-3000.