According to state law, children under the age of 18 are legally entitled to receive support from both parents, and child support is the amount that the non-custodial parent is required to provide until they are an adult or the child becomes emancipated. Emancipation may occur when a child gets married, joins the military, is able to support themselves or moves out of their parent's home and desires independence.
Child support can cover a range of expenses, including basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing, as well as additional costs, such as medical expenses not covered by insurance and day care. Judges generally follow guidelines to determine how much child support is owed, and the guidelines are based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income and how many children they are supporting. It is at the judge's discretion to increase or decrease support based on how much time the non-custodial parent spends with their children.
Child support laws in Illinois state that income can include someone's salary, bonuses, tips, disability payments, lottery earnings and a number of other sources of compensation. Expenses such as union dues, health insurance premiums and mandatory retirement contributions are excluded from support calculations.
Since there are a number of variables involved in determining how much someone may be able to receive or obligated to pay for child support, there is no specific formula that can determine a dollar amount. However, there are ways to get an idea of child support obligations, and presenting certain facts may have an impact on the amount decided by the court. A family law attorney may be able to help a client requesting support understand the legal process as well as aiding them in seeking an appropriate amount.
Source: Findlaw, "Illinois Child Support Guidelines", August 07, 2014