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Child Support Guidelines in Divorce

Guidelines for Child Support in a Divorce in Illinois

Are you a parent going through a separation or divorce in Illinois? If yes, then understanding child support guidelines is crucial for the financial well-being of your children. While every state has its own set of rules and regulations, this article will focus on the guidelines specific to Illinois.

So, let’s dive into it and learn everything you need to know about child support in Illinois!

What is Child Support?

Child support refers to a legally mandated payment from one parent to another, aimed at providing financial support for their children. This payment serves the purpose of ensuring that both parents continue to contribute financially to the upbringing of their children, even in the event of a separation or divorce.

How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support guidelines for divorced parents follow the “income shares” model. This approach takes into account the incomes of both parents, along with factors such as the number of children and parenting time, in order to determine the appropriate amount of child support to be paid.

To estimate the amount of child support you may have to pay or receive as part of a divorce, you can utilize the online calculator provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Factors Affecting Child Support in Illinois

Apart from the income shares model, there are additional factors that can impact the calculation of child support in divorce cases. These factors include:

  • Parenting Time: The amount of time each parent spends with their children plays a significant role in determining child support. Generally, if one parent has the majority of parenting time, they are more likely to receive a higher amount of child support to ensure the children’s well-being and adequately cover their expenses.
  • Childcare Expenses: Aside from parenting time, the calculation of child support can also take into account the costs associated with childcare, such as daycare or after-school care. These expenses are considered when determining the financial support needed to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the children.
  • Health Insurance: Another factor that can be included in the child support calculation is the cost of health insurance for the children. Ensuring that the children have access to adequate healthcare and coverage is of utmost importance, and this cost can be factored into the overall determination of child support to help meet these needs effectively.

Modifications to Child Support

In certain circumstances, child support payments in divorce cases may require adjustments. This can occur when there is a change in income or parenting time. If such changes arise, either parent can file a petition with the court to request a modification of child support.

It is important to note that modifications can only be made through the court, and any informal agreements between parents will not be legally binding.

Enforcement of Child Support

If a parent fails to fulfill their child support obligations in a divorce case, several enforcement measures can be implemented. These include wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses or professional licenses, and even jail time in extreme cases.

Tax Implications of Child Support

In Illinois, child support payments are not tax deductible for the paying parent and are not considered as taxable income for the receiving parent. This differs from other types of financial support, such as spousal maintenance, which may have tax implications.

Talking to a Financial Advisor

Consulting a financial advisor who understands child support laws and regulations in Illinois regarding divorce cases can guide you through the process. They can help you understand the financial impact of child support in a divorce and provide advice on managing your finances. Additionally, they can assist in creating a budget to ensure both parents can support their children financially.

Work with us

If you have more questions about child support, our team is here to help you every step of the way.  At Purposeful Wealth Advisors, we work closely with divorce attorneys, accountants, and other dedicated professionals to arrive at comprehensive solutions for our clients. 

Contact us today to know more about our services!


Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making a decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. and Keating Financial Advisory Services. Keating Financial Advisory Services and Purposeful Wealth Advisors are not a registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services.