Are you a newly single non-custodial parent in Illinois? Understanding your financial responsibilities and how they are calculated is crucial, not only for your own budget planning but also for the welfare of your children.
Whether you anticipate receiving or paying support, a child support estimator can be an invaluable tool.
Online Illinois child support estimator tool
Please be aware that an online child support estimator tool is designed to provide a ballpark figure of what you might expect to pay or receive in child support. It's not a definitive amount because, unlike the judge presiding over your case, it does not have all of your case information. But it can give you a general idea based on the information you provide.
To use this tool, you will typically need to enter details such as your income, the other parent's income, the number of children involved, and the amount of parenting time each parent has. The tool then uses a specific formula to calculate an estimated child support amount.
Remember, this is just an estimate. The actual amount will be determined by a judge, taking into consideration various factors.
What factors determine child support payments in Illinois?
Illinois has child support guidelines that govern general practices when it comes to child support. The judge will look a variety of factors. These include:
Each parent’s income
Each parent’s income is taken into account. This includes wages, tips, bonuses, and any other source of money. The more a parent earns, the higher their contribution might be. If a parent is unemployed, the court might consider what they could potentially earn.
The number of kids
The number of children who need financial support is a major factor. More children typically prompt higher child support payments.
The kids’ needs
Children's needs are paramount. This includes basic necessities like food and clothing, but it also includes educational expenses, healthcare costs, and costs related to any special needs the child may have.
The amount of time each parent spends with the children can influence the child support payments. Parents who spend more time with their children often have lower payments. Why? It is assumed that they are directly covering more of the children’s expenses.
Standard of living
A child's standard of living before their parents' separation or divorce is also considered. The aim is to minimize the impact on the child's life and maintain a similar standard of living.
Remember, each case is unique, and factors may be weighed differently based on individual circumstances.
Examples of child support cases and amounts
- John and Jane have two children. John earns $60,000 per year, and Jane earns $40,000. They share parenting time equally. Using the estimator tool, John might expect to make payments of around $500 per month in child support.
- Mary is a stay-at-home mom with three children. Her ex-spouse, Mike, earns $100,000 per year. In this case, Mike may be expected to pay around $2,000 per month, given that Mary has the children most of the time.
- Lisa and Luke have one child. Lisa earns $30,000 per year, while Luke, who has 70% of the parenting time, earns $70,000. Given these circumstances, Lisa might be expected to contribute around $200 per month.
Can you modify child support payments in Illinois?
Yes, child support payments in Illinois can be modified through a court order. However, a significant change in circumstances must occur before a court will consider a modification.
Examples of such changes include a substantial increase or decrease in either parent's income or a significant change in the needs of the child.
To request a modification, you must file a petition with the court that issued the original child support order. It's recommended to seek legal advice about your child support case before doing so to make sure you have a solid case.
Suggested: Renegotiating Child Support after a Divorce