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How the Courts Calculate Child Support Payments

Child SupportWhen a family faces a divorce, the main concern is the welfare of the children. This involves a lot more than child support; it requires both parents to set aside their differences and not to assign blame. Still, child support is an important topic not only for divorcing spouses but also for unmarried couples who have children.

Child support laws offer a legal mandate for necessities such as food, education, clothing, and shelter. However, knowing how much to pay—or how much to expect—is difficult before the divorce completes. While an experienced family attorney can explain the factors the court may consider, child support payments are determined on a case-by-case basis.

According to Child Support Services, courts in Illinois take into account two factors when calculating child support payments: the number of children for whom non-custodial parent is responsible and the non-custodial parent’s income. In most cases, the court will rule that a percentage of this income, one that scales with the number of children, needs to be set aside for covering the children's needs. This can range from 20 percent for one child to 50 percent for six or more.

It is important to note that unless prior arrangements are made through a settlement, negotiation, or other legal means, support expenses typically cover educational costs including private schools, college, health and dental insurance, and daycare.

It is common practice for the courts to evaluate other factors when determining the amount of child support owed. These include the physical and emotional needs of the children, the financial situation of the custodial parent, and even the standard of living. This is why it often helps to hire a family lawyer to assist with the negotiation process.

If you are going through a divorce or are currently negotiating child support or custody issues, The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab can help. With more than 30 years’ experience as an Illinois family law attorney, Mr. Schwab understands the stress placed on families during these difficult times. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at (312) 548-1093.

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