After divorce or separation of parents, children are the one who suffers the most. The separated parents have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to provide necessary child support to their children so that they can continue to live a happy and joyous life even after such tragedies. Hence, there are certain rules involved when calculating a parent’s financial responsibility to support their children in the future. Physical and mental health conditions of the child are one of the many factors that a court considers when allocating the payments of child support. The well-being of the child will be always of utmost importance in the court’s eyes. Apart from this, for child support, parents can also enter into a legal agreement, and once it is approved by the court, the parents can implement it accordingly.
Why Child Support is Important?
Before discussing the complex calculations involved in the child support program, it is quite important for both parents to understand why child support is important for their children. Child support basically refers to paying a particular amount of money by a non-custodial parent to the custodial parent with an objective to support children financially. When parents separate, children require the dire need of support both emotionally and financially. Hence, protecting children both emotionally and financially is the utmost responsibility of parents, even if they don’t spend their lives together under one roof. When parents do not get involved in supporting their child, these poor lads may not get an opportunity they deserve and require in order to grow with the maximum potential.
Raising children is no doubt a critical task, whether the parents are separated or living under one roof. But, specifically after divorce, the financial and emotional needs of children significantly increase. For this purpose, taking a particular amount from the income for child support becomes quite important. Commonly, when a court decides upon child support they monitor whether the parents are capable to support their children or not.
There are many important goals that these child support practices serve. Firstly, it minimizes financial insecurity and poverty that their child might face in the future. Secondly, due to child support both non-custodial parents and their children get a chance to strengthen their relationship and spend more time with each other. On the other hand, if a parent is not able to pay or refuse to pay for the child support, then he or she might have to face legal consequences.
When a non-custodial parent is unable to pay for the child support, the custodial parent can accuse the non-custodial parent of violation of the child support agreement. As a result, the non-custodial parent might have to face legal problems that can lead him or her to jail as well. For this purpose, it is quite important for every parent to perform timely payments for child support so that they can avoid such legal consequences.
Significance of the Illinois Child Support Calculator
Among other questions, a number of parents ask one important question about how is child support calculated in Illinois courts? To calculate child support, the court usually investigates;
- The income of both parents.
- The requirements of the children
- The needs and incomes of the custodial parent
- The capability of each parent to pay for his or her child.
- The standard of living of the child after separation of parents.
In order to ease the problem associated with child support, there are certain guidelines provided by the local government that could assist parents in evaluating how much amount they are required to pay for child support. The Illinois child support percentage gradually increases with the increase in the number of children. Here’s how;
- For 1 child, parents have to pay 20 percent of their income.
- For 2 children, parents have to pay 28 percent of their income.
- For 3 children, parents have to pay 32 percent of their income.
- For 4 children, parents have to pay 40 percent of their income.
- For 5 children, parents have to pay 45 percent of their income.
- For 6 or more children, parents have to pay 50 percent of their income.
So if next time someone asks, how much is child support in Illinois, show them these percentage guidelines. These percentage guidelines were designed solely on the basis of traditional arrangements of the child custody, in which non-custodians are required to visit their child on a regular basis (every weekend). However, in the case of shared or joint custody of children, or if the time of visitation increases from the traditional visitation time then these percentage guidelines will not remain the same. It is more likely that the court may incorporate further expenses in these guidelines in terms of health care, school tuition fee, and extracurricular activities. In other cases, if the income of a parent is quite high, then the amount of guideline will increase accordingly. On the other hand, if a parent is associated with low monthly income than he or she will have to pay lesser than the amount guideline.
Estimating the Net Income with Illinois Child Support Calculator
The Illinois child support calculator is a beneficial tool that can assist parents in calculating the expenses involved in the child support program. The formula for calculation is quite simple. The parent will just have to add the amount of net income (including both earned and unearned) and subtract it from the adjustment or deductions provided in the child support guidelines. Here are some common forms of income that parents are required to show while disbursing child support;
- Income received from the investment.
- Income received from self-employment work.
- Income received from commissions.
- Income received from monthly, weekly or yearly wages.
On the other hand, here are some common deductions that are subtracted while calculating child support;
- State and federal income taxes
- Premiums for health insurance (for both dependents and old custodians).
- Expenses required to generate income.
- Medical-related expenses
- Any amount which is already been paid for the welfare of the custodial parents or children.
Although calculating the right amount of child support can be quite difficult, still this calculator can provide an estimate to some extent about how much amount is needed to be paid by the parents after separation.
The responsibilities of child support also rest with such parents that receive no or less income. The court will examine the reason for the low income of non-custodial parents. If a parent is working voluntarily for a lesser amount of time and has the capability to work more, then such individuals will be liable to pay for child support. On the other hand, if a parent is highly qualified but still working for a low salary job, then these individuals too will be liable to pay for child support. Unless they present some strong pieces of evidence regarding their efforts for hunting good jobs or any other reason such as disability issues or getting affected by chronic health problems. In such scenarios, the court will then ask the parent to provide only potential or imputed income as child support. This potential income will be entirely based on the most current job in which a parent is involved in or will be based on such job opportunities for which the parent can easily qualify considering their experience and training. Lastly, if no evidence is found by the court then it will set the minimum wage as an imputed income for the child support.
Modifying or Terminating Child Support In Future
Situations might occur when a child may need extra care or support, due to any unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, the non-custodial parents can ask for Illinois child support modifications in order to enhance the financial assistance for their children, so that they can meet all the necessary requirements in their lives. On the other hand, if the non-custodial parents think that their child has now become capable to earn on its own, then in this case as well they can request modifications in the child support accordingly.
However, in case of any modification required, the parents will have to provide concrete evidence to support it. In accordance with the Illinois child support regulations, the obligation on parents to support their children terminates after 18 years of age. But, this obligation will be modified if the child is still going to high school for learning. In such scenarios, the non-custodial parents will be obliged to pay for their child support until the child gets graduated or turns 19. Moreover, if the child lacks self-support capability or has some kind of disability, then these obligations may further delay in the future. In certain cases, the Illinois courts also come forward to support parent for making payments after the child turns 19.
Illinois Child Support Payments
Generally, the payments for child support are taken from the paycheck of the non-custodial parents. The payment process begins when a child support notice is sent to the employer of the non-custodial parents. Once the notice is received, the employer will become liable to disburse the child support payments from the parent’s paycheck and send it to the Illinois child support disbursement unit. On the other hand, parents are also liable to check the disbursed amount, in order to ensure that the right amount of payment is being sent for the child support through the employer. If the employer fails to disburse the child support payments from the parent’s paycheck then the non-custodial parents can send the payment by themselves. However, if the employers fail to pay for the child support, they may have to pay a $100 fine per day.
In Illinois, the payment for child support is generally done through the Illinois child support disbursement unit. This unit is responsible for processing the payments for child support obtained from parents or employers, and then disbursing them to the new custodians via debit card, direct deposit, or check. One important advantage of the Illinois child support disbursement unit is it keeps a thorough record for every payment made through it. This can eventually help both the custodial and the non-custodial parent to avoid any arguments on child support in the future.
Illinois Child Support Laws 2020
In comparison with the modification of Illinois Child Support Laws in 2017, in 2020 there are no significant changes made. In 2020, the obligation on the non-custodial parent to stay with their child is increased up to 50 percent. Hence, the higher the time parent will spend with their child lesser will they have to pay for the child support. On the other hand, as far as the 146 overnight visit requirements per year are met by the non-custodial parents, the time required to be spent by each parent will not be considered in the Illinois child support calculator 2020.
One of the major changes in child support law took place in 2017 when a new model for the sharing of income was adopted in the Illinois child support program. The whole idea behind this model was to hold the non-custodial parents more responsible for providing support to their children in the same way as if they were intact in the family. There are certain factors on the basis of which the contribution of the non-custodial parent towards child support can be calculated in accordance with this model. A parent’s basic support is evaluated based on their shared total income and the amount of time the kid spends with non-custodial parents every year.
To further illustrate this factor, consider a couple who spends roughly $30,000 every year for the expenses of their child, and they agree upon giving 50/50 time to their child. So, after reviewing the financial positions of both the parents, the court finds out that the mother is contributing 40 percent, while the father is contributing 60 percent in the total income. In that scenario, the father will be liable to pay $18,000 (60% of his income), while the mother will have to pay $12,000 (40% of her income) in the child support.
Hence, by providing appropriate child support, parents can help bring the lost colors in their children’s lives. As children already go through many stressors after their parents get separated. Therefore, child support is their basic right, and parents should ensure to provide it, in order to shape a better future for them.