Nearly every parent in Illinois recognizes that a responsibility to financially support one's children, at least until the age of majority. However, when it comes to dealing with the issue of child support, the tension can rise between the parties. Even in an amicable divorce, this issue can be divisive.
In order to relieve at least some of the tension, it might be helpful to understand what Illinois law says about the calculation of child support. When you, or the court, take steps to come to an amount for child support, several factors come into play. State law guides the courts when considering the factors that contribute to an amount to be paid.
First, the available income of each party is an important component. Then, the financial needs of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the child require review. The court looks at the standard of living the family enjoyed during the marriage.
Beyond those requirements, issues such as the mental and physical needs of the child, any medical needs and insurance are examined. When it comes to education, the court not only looks at the ordinary expenses of education, but also any additional costs for extracurricular activities. Finally, other potentially recurring needs such as glasses, braces or other needs could factor into the amount ordered.
Even if you and your spouse come to an agreement about child support in your divorce settlement, it must be approved by the court. The court's main interest is ensuring that the best interests of the child are honored. This applies not only to custody issues, but to the continued financial support of the children as well.