Skip to main content
Child Support

Will I have to pay child support in Illinois?

If you’re going through a divorce, you may be wondering if you will have to pay child support.

The answer is that it depends.

If you are not the parent handling most of the parenting responsibilities, you will most likely have to pay some amount of child support. The amount will depend on your and your co-parent’s incomes.

There may be some cases in which the situation is different, but in almost all cases, the parent with fewer parenting responsibilities has to pay some amount of child support. Talking through your situation with our knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys at Diamond Divorce can help you figure out how much child support is owed – if any is owed at all.

What does child support cover in Illinois?

Child support can’t be narrowed down to a specific type of expense. The idea is that there are many expenses associated with maintaining a household for a child. So long as the money is being used for that end, it flies in court.

Generally, these expenses can include whatever is necessary to create a household with proper food, shelter, clothing and related expenses. These may also include such things as rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, car payments and other customary household expenses.

In Illinois there are usually additional child expenses which are:

  • School expenses,
  • Extracurricular activity expenses
  • Work-related daycare expenses
  • Costs of medical insurance for the child or children or medical expenses not covered by insurance.

How much child support do I have to pay?

Illinois now uses an income shares model for determining child support instead of a percentage of obligor’s income. This model is now used in 38 states.

Illinois has guidelines for child support. These are based on the obligors and obligees net income. The math and calculations get a bit involved. However, there is software to run calculations. The software can also transform gross income to net income and arrive at the recommended guidelines.

There are two sets of schedules for guidelines. One is for shared parenting time. This is for situations where each of the parents have at least 146 overnights with a child or children.

The 146 nights in Illinois is the threshold for child support. If you have less than 146 overnights you will not receive child support but may be paying support to the other person for the whole year.

In Illinois the courts are required to determine what the guidelines are for each case. If they are not followed, the court must make a finding that applying the guidelines would not be appropriate and the reasons for such.

What information is needed to calculate my child support?

To figure out how much child support you need to pay you need the following:

  • Your total income from all sources;
  • The other party’s total income from all sources;
  •  The number of overnights per year that you will have the child or children;
  • Any other child support or maintenance obligations you may have; and
  • Cost of medical insurance per the child or children and who’s paying it.

Talk to a McHenry, Illinois family lawyer: Figuring out child support involves keeping track of lots of moving parts, so talking to a lawyer is your best bet to make sure the numbers are accurate and fair.

Contact Diamond Divorce – lawyers who will listen to your situation

Our team at Diamond Divorce is here to support you. The stress of reorganizing your entire life and the lives of your children can feel impossible to handle. But our process is streamlined, informative, and communicative, and our team works hard to produce the best possible outcome for you, your children, and your finances. Contact us today to get started.


DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, we urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.

Skip to content