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Child Support

Child Support in Illinois and Iowa

A divorce is difficult on the whole family. When a family is fractured, it is crucial that each parent looks out for the best interest of the most vulnerable members, the children. Your child deserves consistent and constant support from both parents, both emotionally and financially. Your child also has the right to maintain the same, or similar, lifestyle that he or she enjoyed before the divorce occurred. At Steckel Law, Attorney John Steckel works with you to develop a plan that fits your unique legal needs so that you can protect your rights and the rights of your family.

How Is Child Support Determined?

In Illinois, the child support amount depends on the number of children shared between the two parents. It is almost always set based on a percentage of the paying person’s net income. These percentages are known as the Illinois Child Support Guidelines.

There are minimum guidelines that dictate the payment of child support based on the net income of the parent who will pay child support. The guidelines are as follows:

  • For one child = 20 percent of the payor’s net
  • For two children = 28 percent of the payor’s net
  • For three children = 32 percent of the payor’s net
  • For four children = 40 percent of the payor’s net
  • For five children = 45 percent of the payor’s net
  • For six or more = 50 percent of the payor’s net

To set support at an amount different from these guidelines is called a deviation. The judge can deviate from the guidelines if he considers it in the child’s best interest after considering one of five specific reasons:

  1. The financial resources and needs of the child;
  2. The financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;
  3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved; (If the child’s parents were married).
  4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and his educational needs; and
  5. The financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are what Illinois courts typically employ, excluding extenuating circumstances. For parents with higher incomes, if the children would receive an amount in excess of their needs, the court may direct the paying parent to pay less than the guidelines suggest. On the other end of the spectrum, if children’s needs are greater than what the guidelines dictate, the court may order the paying parent to pay more. In addition, courts will frequently order the paying parent to pay half of the cost of day care expenses relative to the custodial parent’s education and employment.

We Are Here to Help You

When life takes an unexpected turn, it is easy to feel lost and as though we have nowhere to go for help. When managing your divorce terms, it is vital that you reach an agreement that best benefits your children. We see to it that their rights are protected and that you will enter into a fair child custody and support agreement. At Steckel Law, our first priority is to listen to your unique circumstance so that we can help you determine the best plan of action to achieve the best outcome for you and your children. Contact Steckel Law today at (563) 265-1714 for a free consultation.