Illinois Child Support Guidelines

A child has a legal right to receive child support from both parents. Child support is the amount of money a non-custodial parent must to pay for their child until he or she turns 18 years old. In Illinois, the child support amount will be based upon a parent's income and number of children. The court will use a set of guidelines (PDF) to determine how much a parent will have to pay.

Here's a summary of Illinois's support guidelines and requirements.

What Guidelines Will the Judge Follow to Determine Child Support?

Child support is a complicated calculation. This is only a guideline and every case is unique and different. Typically, a judge will follow these guidelines:

  • One child: 20% of net income;
  • Two children: 28% of net income;
  • Three children: 32% of net income;
  • Four children: 40% of net income;
  • Five children: 45% of net income; and
  • Six or more children: 50% of net income.

What Is "Net Income" in Illinois?

A parent's net income includes any of the following:

  • Salary
  • Commission
  • Tips, Bonuses
  • Overtime Pay
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Capital Gains
  • Rental Income
  • Royalty Income
  • Trust Income
  • Retirement Income
  • Disability Payments
  • Worker's Compensation Benefits
  • Severance Pay
  • State Lottery and Prize Winnings

What Isn't Included in the Calculation?

  • Federal and state income tax;
  • Social security (FICA);
  • Mandatory retirement contributions;
  • Union dues;
  • Health insurance premiums;
  • Prior support obligations actually paid pursuant to a court order or administrative order;
  • Expenses to repay debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income;
  • Medical expenses necessary to preserve life or health.

The court will also base the support order on how much time the parent spends with the child. The court will calculate the number of hours a parent physically spends with their child. Basically, the less time a parent spends with a child, the more he or she may be ordered to pay in child support.

What Expenses Can an Illinois Judge Include in the Support Order?

Child support will include financial support for basic needs such as food and clothing. It will also include housing, transportation, activities, and medical care costs. The non-custodial parent can also be responsible for daycare, extracurricular activities, private school expenses and medical expenses not covered by insurance.

When Does a Parent's Support Obligation End?

Most support obligations end when the child turns 18 years old. However, it can also end if the child becomes "emancipated." This means that:

  • The child gets married;
  • The child joins the military;
  • The child gets a job and no longer requires their parent’s support; or
  • The child moves out on their own and wants to be independent.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Illinois's Child Support laws. See also Child Custody, Child Support Modifications, and Child Support Enforcement.

Code Section 750 ILCS 5/505
Who is Responsible? Both parents.
How Support is Calculated? Family Code Section 154.125.
Factors "Net income" and time spent with the child.
What is Included in a Support Order? Monetary support (food, clothing, & shelter), health insurance, basic education expenses. Also might include child care, unpaid medical bills, visitation travel costs, and extracurricular activities.
How Long Must a Parent Pay Child Support? Until the child is 18 years old. Support will end if the child becomes emancipated.
College Expenses?

At the discretion of the judge. Can include:

Registration/application costs
Medical expenses
Living expenses

Get a Free Initial Case Review

Setting the appropriate amount for child support is a critical step in ensuring that parents are fulfilling their child-rearing duties. Illinois' child support guidelines help to fulfill that goal. However, you might need help in understanding how these guidelines work. If you are a parent who wants more information, then you should talk to a family law attorney who can give a free case review.

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