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UPDATE 2021: What You Need to Know About Child Support in Illinois

Posted on in Child Support

Bolingbrook Family Law AttorneyOriginally Posted April 13, 2020 ---- Updated Post November 11, 2021

Any parent can confirm that raising children is expensive -- especially when you are doing so on a single income. If you are divorced or soon will be, it is important to know how Illinois child support laws will apply to your case. Well-meaning friends or relatives may try to give you advice about child support or help you estimate your payments. However, the way that Illinois calculates child support changed significantly in recent years. The best way to receive trustworthy guidance regarding child support is to work with an experienced family law attorney. 

Illinois no longer bases child support on only the paying spouse’s income and the number of children to be supported. Now, both parents’ incomes determine child support payments.

In 2021, child support is calculated using the Income Shares model. This calculation takes both parents’ net incomes into account. The parents’ incomes are added together to find the combined net income. This figure is compared to the Income Shares Schedule to determine the total amount of financial support expected of the parents. The parent with less parenting time pays his or her share of this financial obligation to the parent with the majority of the parenting time. If both parents have the child more than 40 percent of the time, the child support obligation is adjusted accordingly. For help with child support concerns, contact a Naperville child support lawyer from Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C.. 



When a couple with children is considering divorce, it is important for both parties to understand the guidelines for child support. These guidelines vary depending on the state where the divorce takes place.

In Illinois, the guidelines for child support are straightforward and exceptions are rarely made. Parents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children. Traditionally, the residential (custodial) parent will receive child support from the non-residential (non-custodial) parent. The “residential parent” is defined as the parent who maintains the primary residence for the children.

Child support is not only funds for food and clothing. It is also for housing, transportation, activities, medical care and more.

A court will determine the minimum about of support by using the following guidelines:

Number of Children Percent of Supporting Party’s Net Income
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6 or more 50%

"Net income" is defined as the total of all income from all sources, minus the following typical deductions:

  • a. Federal income tax;
  • b. State income tax;
  • c. Social Security (FICA payments);
  • d. Mandatory retirement contributions required by law or as a condition of employment;
  • e. Union dues; and
  • f. Dependent and individual health/hospitalization insurance premiums.

The duty of support owed to a child includes the physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child. For purposes of child support, the term “child” includes any child under age 18 and any child under age 19 who is still attending high school.

The child support will be applied in each case unless the court makes a finding that application of the guidelines would be inappropriate after considering the best interests of the child in light of evidence including, but not limited to, one or more of the following relevant factors:

  • a. the financial resources and needs of the child;
  • b. the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;
  • c. the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  • d. the physical and emotional condition of the child, and his/her educational needs; and
  • e. the financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.

While the court rarely deviates from the guidelines, the court’s finding will state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines, if determinable. The court must include the reason or reasons for the variance from the guidelines.

If you have children and are contemplating divorce, it is important to meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss child support and other matters. The Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., provides the experienced representation you need and the personal attention you deserve. Call 630-355-7776 to set up a free consultation.

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