Consider Consulting an Attorney When Establishing Child Support

Child support often can be a contentious and heated issue between parents, and a lawyer or attorney can help tremendously when parents are establishing payment grounds.

In Illinois, there is typically a custodial parent and a parent who has visitation and pays child support. The Child Support Statute can be found at ILCS 5/505.

There are guidelines for child support based on the number of children you have, as it is calculated from the net income (income after allowed deductions such as taxes).

Guideline amounts based on the number of children:

Children Amount
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6+ 50%

The court can deviate from these guidelines when it considers an amount to be extremely unfair to one party. For example, if a parent who owes child support makes so little money that a guidelines award would not leave them enough money to live on, the court may award support for the child below the guidelines. The same is true of a non-custodial parent who makes so much money that the guidelines amount would provide not just support to the child, but a financial windfall to the custodial parent. If the child has special medical needs, the award support for the child may be adjusted above the guidelines.

The parent seeking support must file a petition to begin the clock for child support payments. Support is owed from the filing of the petition on. It is also up to the party seeking to modify support to file a petition asking the court to do so. Child support does not automatically go up if the other parent makes more money, and does not automatically go down if the parent loses his or her job.

Additionally, after a court rules you typically have to wait two years to go back and re-evaluate the Child Support Amount. In such a case, if you have a current Child Support Order and you have lost your job, or been demoted and are now making less money than you were at the time of the order, you can file a new petition to modify based on changed circumstances. In this situation, you make a showing to the family court judge that the old support order is unfair in light of the current circumstances, and you can potentially have your support order decreased temporarily or permanently depending on your specific situation.

Contact a Child Support Lawyer

For a free consultation to discuss seeking, increasing or decreasing support, call the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 to set an appointment, or contact us securely through our website. We are a Rockford, Illinois-based law firm, handling child support cases in Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park and Winnebago County, as well as neighboring Illinois communities.