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Under Illinois law, parents have a duty to financially support their minor children. Generally, child support is paid by a non-custodial parent to the parent with whom a minor child primarily resides, as contribution toward the costs associated with child’s upbringing.
Illinois laws on child support established guidelines for determining a percentage of income that the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent for support. Child support is determined based on a specific percentage of the net income of the payor and varies based on the number of children the payor is required to support.
For example, for one minor child, a payor is required to pay twenty percent (20%) of his or her net income for child support. For two minor children, a payor is required to pay twenty-eight percent (28%) of his or her net income for support. However, courts or parties—with court approval—may, in special circumstances, order or agree to set child support at an amount above or below the guideline percentage support amounts depending upon the parties’ financial circumstances and the child’s needs. Illinois’ child support guidelines are contained in Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
Child support obligations are generally modifiable when a court deems that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Failure to satisfy a support obligation can result in serious consequences, which may include a court’s finding of contempt and penalties that may include incarceration.
Effective July 1, 2017, both parents’ incomes will be used to calculate child support.
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