Child support is money that is paid from one parent to the other for the support of their common child or children. The obligation to support a child begins at the child’s conception and includes birthing and medical costs. Both parents have an obligation to financially support their child and you do not have to have been married to your child’s other parent in order to receive child support. The parents’ child support obligation lasts until the child turns 18 or has graduated from high school, whichever is last to occur, also referred to as emancipation. Except in cases of an adult child who is disabled, a parent’s child support obligation does not last beyond the age of 19. After a child emancipates, there may be the question of the parents’ obligation to contribute to college expenses.

Illinois is an “income shares” state. This means that both parent’s incomes are considered when determining the amount of child support each parent may owe. Under the current child support law, we first determine the combined net income of the parents. Net income for child support purposes is not necessarily the same as your net income for federal or state tax purposes. Second, we determine the number of children of the parents and the total child support amount required. Next we calculate the overnight parenting time each parent has and, lastly, we finalize the child support amount each parent owes as support. The final number is a pro-rata division of the total support obligation after taking into consideration the number of overnights each parent has.

Funds received for child support do not have to be spent exclusively for the child and may be utilized to pay rent, buy groceries, pay household bills, etc. The parent receiving child support is not required to provide justification for or specific receipts for the spending of child support funds. Child support is not includible in the receiving parent’s income and is not deductible from the paying parent’s income.

The court can be a very intimidating place and navigating the system to get your children what they need can seem very daunting. Our family law and divorce attorneys take the time to figure out what is most important to you and determine the most effective strategy to reach your legal goals. We represent a wide range of individuals who are looking out for the best interests of their children, including mothers, fathers, grandparents and step-parents. The attorneys of Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC can help you get the support your family deserves in a difficult situation.

As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. This includes spending time with them and playing a major role in their lives as they grow up. A divorce shouldn’t change that.

Should you have any questions about child support or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This information constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.