Child Support
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Child Issues

Naperville, IL Child Support Lawyers

DuPage County Attorneys for Child Support Matters

When it comes to child support, Illinois is essentially a modified percentage-of-income state. While there is a formula that is mechanically applied in most circumstances, the judge does have discretion to deviate from the guideline amount if circumstances warrant. Child support is primarily designed to give the parent with primary residential responsibilities the financial resources to provide for the children, and secondarily meant to equalize the standard of living between the two households.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., our family law attorneys understand that all caring parents want to provide for their children. Nevertheless, disputes often arise as to the amount and frequency of payments, especially since some income sources are difficult to classify and it is common for many children to split time between the two households. We provide aggressive representation in all these situations, to protect your family.

Percentage of Income

Most states are income-share jurisdictions that base payments on a totality of the circumstances analysis; only a handful of jurisdictions are percentage-of-income states. While the amount is easier to calculate and the system leads to more predictable results, the outcome can sometimes be unfair. For example, the receiving parent's income may be substantially higher than the supporting parent's income, yet the lower-income parent still must pay a sizeable amount of support.

The Illinois Way

The Prairie State addresses this potential deficiency by essentially combining the two models. Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets a percentage of income formula that begins at 20 percent for one child and extends to 50 percent for six or more children. The judge can depart from the statutory guideline amount based on:

  • Child's Resources and Needs: It is rare, but certainly not unheard of, for a child to have financial resources, such as a job or a trust fund. Moreover, as children age, they sometimes become involved in extracurricular activities, including sports teams and summer camps, which can be quite expensive.
  • Financial Resources of Each Parent: The above example is not typical, but is certainly not uncommon. For example, an entrepreneur may earn very little money in the business' first three or four years.
  • Child's Physical, Mental and Emotional Needs: Special needs kids often face ongoing medical procedures, along with high doctor and therapist bills.
  • Standard of Living The Child Would Have Had: Equalization of income is a secondary priority, but it is on the radar screen.

There must be affirmative factual findings in the record to support any deviation from the guideline formula.

Child support typically terminates when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later, but not continuing past 19 years of age. Most divorce decrees contain a reservation clause which states that college expenses will be divided between the parents at a later date.

For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240.

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