Child support is a topic that can easily make emotions run high, especially in the context of an already embittered divorce. While most parents are happy to financially support their children, making payments to a disliked ex who may not be raising your children the way you hoped can be a challenging process. Being the parent who receives child support is often no easier, especially if you feel as though you are under constant scrutiny regarding how you handle the support payments.
Regardless of personal differences between parents, and unlike other parts of negotiating a divorce, child support payments in Illinois are generally not negotiable and are established according to a formula known as the “income shares” model. Understanding which factors can affect this model and the overall support payments is important for parents who are approaching child support for the first time.
Both Parents’ Incomes
Rather than placing the financial burden on just one parent, Illinois child support laws expect both parents to contribute financially toward their children’s wellbeing. The incomes of both parents are, therefore, part of the overall calculation.
Majority Parenting Time
Splitting parenting time 50/50 is not often possible unless parents live very close together and are on good terms. The parent who has the majority of parenting time is usually the parent who receives child support payments because the number of custodial nights per year is included in child support calculations.
Each Child’s Needs
While most children will fit within the standard child support model, some children have medical, educational, or other needs that require greater child support payments. Ongoing healthcare treatments, afterschool tutors, and involvement in sports clubs can increase the child’s financial needs, which can subsequently be reflected in child support payments.
Each Parent’s Expenses
Courts do not expect parents to pay so much child support that it leaves a parent without enough money to pay their rent or buy their own groceries. Parents’ legitimate expenses, such as child support payments and spousal maintenance payments to previous spouses can give a court a reason to lower standard child support payments.
Job Loss or Promotions
Courts are sensitive to the fact that people do sometimes lose their jobs for legitimate reasons beyond their control. If a parent has lost his or her job and cannot make ends meet, he or she can petition a court to lower child support payments temporarily. Likewise, if either parent receives a significant increase in salary, child support payments can be modified.
Meet with a Wheaton, IL Child Support Lawyer
Understanding Illinois law is essential for ensuring you can realistically anticipate child support payments after divorce. To get help from a DuPage County child support attorney with experience helping parents in every situation navigate child support and other post-divorce matters, contact Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free consultation.